The Escape from Malnutrition of Chilean Boys and Girls: Height-for-Age Z Scores in Late XIX and XX Centuries

Núñez, Javier; Perez, Graciela

Keywords: Malnutrition, stunting


We studied the trends of height-for-age (HAZ) Z scores by socioeconomic status (SES) groups of Chilean boys and girls aged 5–18 born between 1877 and 2001, by performing a meta-analysis of 53 studies reporting height-for-age sample data from which 1258 HAZ score datapoints were calculated using the 2000 reference growth charts for the US of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We found stagnant mean and median HAZ scores of about −1.55 to −1.75 for the general population, and −2.2 to −2.55 for lower SES groups up to cohorts born in the 1940s. However, we found an upwards structural change in cohorts born after the 1940s, a period in which HAZ scores grew at a pace of about 0.25 to 0.30 HAZ per decade. Since this change happened in a context of moderate Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, high and persistent income inequality, and stagnant wages of the working class, we discuss the extent to which our findings are associated with the increase in public social spending and the implementation and expansion of a variety of social policies since the 1940s and early 1950s

Más información

Título de la Revista: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health
Volumen: 18
Número: Issue 19
Editorial: MDPI
Fecha de publicación: 2021
Idioma: Inglés

Notas: WOS