Anthropometric assessment of nutritional status is reported for three Tupí-Mondê-speaking groups from Rondônia and Mato Grosso, Brazil. This region of the Amazon basin is experiencing rapid development through government-oriented colonization. The Gavião, Suruí, and Zoró had their first contacts with Brazilian national society at different times, and the nature and degree of their participation in regional markets varies. Height, weight, sitting height, subischial leg length, upper arm circumference, triceps skinfold thickness, and upper arm muscle and fat areas are reported for children 0-10.9 years of age. Like other Amazonian Amerindians, Tupf-Monde children are short for their age but normal or above normal in weight for height with respect to the National Center for Health Statistics reference. Hence stunting levels are high (55.4%) and wasting levels are low (0.8%). There are also deficits in body composition parameters, especially in upper arm circumference and estimated muscle and fat areas. We interpret the results as evidence of suboptimal nutritional status, reflecting the interaction between poor diet and infectious and parasitic diseases. The Gaviao, with the longest period of contact, present the lowest level of stunting. This finding is attributed to the use of cash income from rubber tapping and nut gathering to purchase of food items and health care. Differences in height between the three groups are mostly due to leg length, instead of sitting height, reinforcing the idea that environmental conditions can alter body proportions.
Santos, Ricardo V. and Coimbra, Carlos E.A Jr.
"Socioeconomic Transition and Physical Growth of Tupí-Mondê Amerindian Children of the Aripuanã Park, Brazilian Amazon,"
6, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol63/iss6/7