To assess the association of household food insecurity in children with anemia beneficiaries of food assistance programs.
We obtained information from 1366 households from San Luis Potosi, México, with children (< 5y old) that were beneficiaries of one of the three FAP: Prospera; School Breakfast Program (DIF); Rescue to Malnutrition with amaranth (RMA); and a Control group.We used the Latin American and Caribbean household food Security measurement scale (ELCSA). Anemia in children is determined if hemoglobin < 110 g/L; Stunting is determined if z-score indicator <-2 (WHO, 2006). A logistic regression model was constructed to study the effect of FAP and Food Insecurity (FI) on the anemia prevalence.
The global prevalence of anemia was: 29.2%, in children beneficiaries of Prospera 39.9%, DIF 9.4%, RMA 24.4%, and in Control group 28.9%. The global prevalence of food insecurity was 19.3%, Prospera 9.8%, DIF 23.1%, RMA 20.3%, and Control group 26.9%.The prevalence of anemia increases when children is stunted (p=0.001). A higher socioeconomic index and major age were protective for the probability of anemia. Significant interactions were observed between Prospera and mild food insecurity level (P=0.095) and between anemia and DIF and mild insecurity (p=0.009) in children.
The probability of be anemic increase if the children have stunting. Households with anemic children that did not receive assistance were generally more food secure than those that did. Periodic verification of hemoglobin is recommended in these age groups, and supplementation is required.