1 Consulta Nr. 2 Nutrición Clínica, Hospital Universitario, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL), México; 2 Instituto de Nutrición,La Habana, Cuba.
Background. Cuba is in an advanced stage of the epidemiological transition, where overweight, micronutrient deficiencies and NCDs are highly prevalent. Objective. The objective was to evaluate the double burden of stunting, overweight and iron deficiency anemia in children below 5y of age and pregnant women. Design. National surveys of the whole population or from Havana city and data of children and pregnant women from the national food and nutrition surveillance system during 2011 were used for the assessment of the double burden of malnutrition using Cuban national growth charts. Results. Overweight and obesity were 2.5 times higher in stunted than in normal children under 5y of age (45% vs.18%). The double burden in those children was 3.7%, two times higher than the expected prevalence assuming independence in the prevalence of each condition. At 6 and 24 months of age, the overweight/obesity prevalence was 23% and 31%, and anemia 38% % and 15%,respectively. The anemia prevalence within overweight/obese and obese children was quitesimilar. The proportions with the double burden of anemia and overweight/obesity at 6m and 2y of age were 8.3% and 3.6%, significantly lower than expected values. At the individuallevel in pregnant women at the first and third trimester, the prevalence of overweight/obesitywas 24% and 22%; 13.9% and 21.7% of them, respectively, were anemic. The double burden of anemia and Ow/ Ob was present in 2.6% and 5.1% at the first and third trimester of pregnancy, respectively, values which were also significant lower than expected. Conclusions. Effective actions are required to promote healthy nutrition and linear growth during the first 1000 days of life combined with the prevention of rapid growth after 2 years of age. This double burden of undernutrition an excess body weight shall be extensively considered in the nutrition programs.