Let's talk about nutrition in Panama. In the country, malnutrition occurs in 8 out of 10 pregnant women, and of these, 7 are overweight.
This is established by the data collected in the National Survey of Panama (Enspa), carried out between the Gorgas Commemorative Institute for Health Studies, the Ministry of Health and the Comptroller's Office of the Republic, which will contribute to locating health and not disease as goal of Panama's public policies.
Pregnant women in the urban area had the highest prevalence of nutrition due to deficiency and at the same time one of the highest prevalence due to excess, reaching a double burden of malnutrition of 87.4%.
The evaluation of the nutritional status of pregnant women without edema was carried out according to the criteria adopted by the Ministry of Health, which is based on the curve of BMI according to gestation age. According to this classification criterion, it is observed that, in the country, 9.5% of pregnant women were underweight, while 72% were overweight.
When classifying by categories of excess weight, a prevalence of overweight was estimated in almost one in three pregnant women, while obesity reached 4 in 10 pregnant women.
The pregnant women most vulnerable to poor nutrition due to deficiency were those aged 15 to 19 years and those aged 40 to 49; in two groups, low weight reached one in four and one in three pregnant women, respectively.
The behavior of excess weight by age group shows that the lowest prevalence is located at 32.1% in pregnant women aged 15 to 19 years and the highest prevalence was estimated at 86.1% in women aged 30 to 39 years .
The analysis by health region indicates that the highest prevalence of excess weight was registered in the metro Panama region (86.3%), followed by the Bocas del Toro region (81.8%), while the highest prevalence Low was estimated in pregnant women from the Emberá region (27.8%).
Although the data from the National Survey of Panama (Enspa), carried out between the Gorgas Memorial Institute, the Ministry of Health and the Comptroller's Office of the Republic, cannot ensure statistically significant differences due to the wide margin obtained in the confidence intervals, of According to point estimates, the regions with the most obese pregnant women were Panama metro, Bocas del Toro, Coclé, Chiriquí and Darién.
In the Herrera, Los Santos, East Panama, West Panama, North Panama, Veraguas and Ngäbe Buglé regions, the highest proportion of excess weight was due to being overweight. In the regions of Colón, the prevalence of obesity was less than 1%, however, overweight in this region reached 36.2%.
In the last 11 years, the prevalence of overweight in the country remained, however, the prevalence of obesity increased 15.1%.