Defeating malnutrition at regional level in latin america

Kids Eat Right in Latin America: the experience of an integrated intervention for the prevention of malnutrition: school, community and family in Venezuela

Marianella Herrera

Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela

Interventions that address the “double burden” are needed all over the world. Most of the interventions, in particular for children, focuses either in eradicate undernutrition or obesity. Because of the consequences of universal interventions, where programs that intent to eradicate hunger and undernourished individuals have negative effects in those who do not need this compensative effort, a pilot based on the Energy Balance for Kids (EB4K) initiative from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics was proposed to be conducted in a very low income community school in Caracas, Venezuela. EB4K was chosen, since even the name, in English as well as in Spanish (Balance de Energía para niños) was consistent with the objective: promoting adequate nutrition in children that need to compensate their undernutrition and encourage those who are overweight or obese to reach their goals while preserving their nutrient intake adequacy, as well as improving their physical activity time and abilities. This presentation will focus on identifying the key anthropometric, physical activity and socio-demographic variables that might impact nutrition status in children within Latin American environments, including adverse life conditions, how social inequities contribute to an altered nutrition status during infancy. Also, promotion of healthy habits to children, their parents, community leaders and school personnel will be discussed and the use of NCP-IDNT (International Dietetic Nutrition Terminology) approach as a methodology to assess early life nutrition interventions in vulnerable groups that might ameliorate quality of life through life course. An interactive model will be discussed, in order to include specific characteristics to the KEREB4K (Energy Balance for Kids) protocol in disadvantaged communities and will be fully explored. Advances and data available will be shown to demonstrate the relevance of this intervention to address this complex nutritional scenario and show how it is important to incorporate these key elements to interventions so every subject can obtain the best of these actions taken. Key words: Energy Balance for Kids, Double burden of Malnutrition, Nutrition Intervention, Venezuela.