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Author Notes:

Correspondence: parrad@wusm.wustl.edu

The authors wish to thank everybody that was involved and provided useful comments and recommendations including Carlos Augusto Monteiro, Cesar Victora, Daniel Cohen, Felipe Lobelo, and Jaime Miranda.

Special thanks to the Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF) and PROFAMILIA, for providing support and allowing the use of the ENDS/ENSIN data sets to complete this study, in particular to Daniel Ayala who provided invaluable support and input in data management and analysis.

Helena Pachón’s time was supported by an appointment to the Research Participation Program at the United States (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education through an interagency agreement between the US Department of Energy and CDC.

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Research Funding:

Funding for this study was partially provided by an International Dissertation Scholarship from the Brown School to Diana Parra.

In addition, Project GUIA funded part of the research assistantship time of the lead author through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contract U48/DP000060-01 (Prevention Research Centers Program).


  • Colombia
  • Dual burden
  • Malnutrition
  • Nutrition transition
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Stunting

The nutrition transition in Colombia over a decade: A novel household classification system of anthropometric measures

Journal Title:

Archives of Public Health


Volume 73, Number 1


, Pages 12-12

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Background: Overweight and underweight increase the risk of metabolic impairments and chronic disease. Interventions at the household level require the diagnosis of nutritional status among family members. The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence and patterns of various anthropometric typologies over a decade in Colombia using a novel approach that considers all children in the household as well as the mother. This approach also allows identifying a dual burden of malnutrition within a household, where one child may be overweight and another one undernourished. Methods: This study used data from the Demographic and Health Survey and the Colombian National Nutrition Survey [2000 n = 2,876, 2005 n = 8,598, and 2010 n = 11,349].Four mutually exclusive household (HH) anthropometric typologies -normal, undernourished, overweight/obese,anddual burden- were created. Anthropometric information of height-for-age Z-scores (HAZ) and body-mass-index-for-age Z-scores (BMIz) in children under the age of 5 y, and on body mass index (BMI) in mothers, 18-49 y was used. Results: Prevalence of overweight/obese HHs increased between 2000 (38.2%) and 2010 (43.1%) (p < 0.05), while undernourished and dual burden HHs significantly decreased between 2005 (13.7% and 10.6%, respectively) and 2010 (3.5% and 5.1%, respectively) (p < 0.05). A greater increase of overweight/obesity was observed for the lowest quintile of wealth index (WI), with an increase of almost 10% between 2000 and 2010, compared to 2% and 4% for the fourth and highest WI, respectively. Although in 2010 there is still a higher prevalence of overweight/obesity HHs in urban areas (43.7%), the prevalence of overweight/obesity HHs in rural areas increased sharply between 2000 (34.3%) and 2010 (41.6%) (p < 0.05).Conclusion: The observed prevalence of dual burden households was not different from the expected prevalence. Results from this study indicate that although overweight/obesity continues to be more prevalent among high-income Colombian households, it is growing at a faster pace among the most economically disadvantaged.

Copyright information:

© 2015 Parra et al.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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