The nutritional dual-burden in developing countries--how is it assessed and what are the health implications?

Coll Antropol. 2012 Mar;36(1):39-45.


This paper focuses on the phenomenon of the nutritional dual-burden in the developing world. Nutritional dual-burden is defined as the coexistence of under-and-over nutrition in the same population/group, the same household/family, or the same person. In this paper we aim: a) to describe the different types of nutritional dual-burden, b) to identify the anthropometric indicators generally used to classify the nutritional dual-burden, c) to focus our attention on a dual-burden group (the Maya from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico), d) to illustrate problems in the categorization of the dual-burden, and e) to suggest possible health implications. Our results show that, for our sample, the prevalence of individual dual-burden among children is very low, but is very high among the mothers and for mother-child pairs (household dual-burden). Most importantly, the criteria used to assess the nutritional status of the individuals and of the families will play an important role in the estimated prevalence of nutritional dual-burden, and this will have practical impacts for health intervention programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry / methods
  • Child
  • Child Nutrition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Developing Countries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Family Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors