Perspectivas de la investigación en la evaluación del estado nutricional

Javier Rosique Gracia

Resumen


La Antropología Biológica intenta profundizar desde una perspectiva no aplicada en los determinantes de los dos polos implicados en las definiciones generales del estado nutricional: el balance entre los aportes nutricionales y las demandas nutritivas. Tanto la cantidad, como la calidad y modalidad de los aportes nutricionales poseen determinantes de carácter socioeco-nómico, cultural y ambiental, mientras que las demandas nutritivas dependen de determinantes morfofisiológicos de origen genético y comportamental, como son: el estado de salud, el momento del ciclo vital, la estructura y composición corporal y la actividad física de los individuos. Algunas investigaciones recientes ilustran la importancia de los determinantes ecológicos. Por ejemplo, el efecto secular (secular trend) por el aumento intergeneracional de las es-taturas, del peso y del IMC que ocurre en las poblaciones urbanas que experimentan una mejora en el nivel de vida está ocurriendo en los países desarrollados y en países en vías de desarrollo, junto con un adelanto de la edad de menarquia en las niñas. Los determinantes del ciclo vital, en relación a las demandas nutritivas, condicionan que en muchas poblaciones la desnutrición sea más frecuente en el niño que en el adulto cuando disminuye la disponibilidad de proteínas como ha ocurrido recientemente en el norte de Bostwana por erradicación de la ganadería enferma. La evaluación del estado nutricional representa un instrumento válido para estudiar la dinámica de la relación entre nutrición y ecología de la población (entendida tanto en sentido social como biológico). Los métodos de evaluación nutricional, a nivel poblacional, se suelen desarrollar desde cuatro perspectivas complementarias: determinación de la ingesta de nutrientes, evaluación de la estructura y composición corporal, evaluación bioquímica y evaluación clínica del estado nutricional. Muchas investigaciones usan de forma complementaria las encuestas de consumo de alimentos para determinar la ingesta de nutrientes en combinación con la evaluación antropométrica o el análisis de la impedancia bioeléctrica y la evaluación de indicadores nutricionales a nivel sérico, siendo menos frecuente el uso de la evaluación clínica en estudios de muestras grandes. En este artículo se repasan algunos aspectos de la determinación de los indicadores nutricionales de mayor interés en los estudios sobre ecología de la nutrición con un énfasis en la investigación sobre el uso del IMC como indicador de adiposidad.


Palabras clave


Antropología biológica; ingesta alimentaria; antropometría; IMC; ecología nutricional.

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Referencias


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