Child malnutrition and land ownership in southern brazil

Cesar Victora, J. Patrick Vaughan, Betty Kirkwood, J. Jose, Carlos Martines, Lucio B. Barcelos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The geographical distribution of infant mortality rates (IMRs) in the Brazilian State of Rio Grande do Sul follows closely the pattern of land tenure, with high IMRs in districts of large ranches and lower rates in districts of small farms. A household anthropometric survey of 802 children aged 12 to 35.9 months living in two districts with contrasting imrs and land tenure patterns revealed that prevalences of protein-energy malnutrition were consistent with these differentials. The survey showed that children in the district with large ranches were more likely to present with stunting, wasting and underweight than those in the small-farms district. When the analysis was restricted to rural children, these differentials were even wider — 4-fold for length for age and 13-fold for weight for age. Children of labourers were more likely to be malnourished than those of landowners, while children of sharecroppers presented intermediate levels. On the other hand, among children of landowners, there was no association between the area of land owned by the family and malnutrition, or according to whether most of the food consumed was home grown or not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-275
Number of pages11
JournalEcology of Food and Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 1 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • Brazil
  • Protein-enerey malnutrition infant mortality: Socio-economic factors: agriculture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Ecology


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