Using the cut-off point of less than 85.0 of the standard weight for height, 69.0 were normal, 5.7 were overweight and 9.5 were undernourished out of the 3,615 preschool subjects examined.The number of children who were underweight-for-height in 1982 was significantly less than in 1978. There was a significant improvement in the 1982 nutritional status compared to the 1978 as shown by the decrease in percentage of underweight-for-age.Based on the WHO standard, 26.6 of the total population are anemic with a significant higher percentage of anemic subjects in rural than in urban areas. The rural areas had more subjects who were positive for parasitic infection than in the urban areas but the proportion was significantly greater only for males and females 13-59 yrs old and 60 yrs old and over. Both Vitamin A deficiency (1.4) and Bitot's spot (1.0) indicate the existence of a public health problem in the Philippines. A high prevalence of goiter (15.4) was noted among 9-20 yrs old lactating females. Anthropometric measurements were also used as index in assessing malnutrition.
The study was conducted to obtain anthropometric data for assessing the nutritional status of Filipinos to determine extent of anemia, parasitism and prevalence of Vitamin A deficiency and goiter on a nationwide basis.
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