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Both stunting and overweight are present in children across China. Seemingly paradoxical, these two conditions can also coexist in the same child. The aim was to examine the associations between dietary food/nutrient intake and plasma lipid profiles related to stunting and overweight status.
The 2002 China National Nutrition and Health Survey was a family-based nationally representative cross-sectional study.
Thirty-one provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.
The study included 13 770 children aged 2–17 years. The sample size for the four exposure groups was 10 814 for children of normal height and weight, 2128 for stunted, 729 for overweight and 99 for stunted overweight.
Compared with children of normal height and weight, stunted and stunted overweight children consumed more high-energy-dense foods with a lower dietary diversity score, less protein, polyunsaturated fat and Fe, and a higher molar ratio of phytate to Ca. On the contrary, overweight children tended to consume significantly less carbohydrates and more protein and fat. Overall, stunted overweight children consumed lower amounts of vegetables, fruit, white meat (poultry and fish) and more milk. The OR for prevalent dyslipidaemia were 1·32 (95 % CI 1·13, 1·53), 1·76 (95 % CI 1·48, 2·09) and 2·59 (95 % CI 1·65, 4·07) among stunted, overweight and stunted overweight children, respectively, compared with children of normal height and weight. In addition, being overweight was significantly associated with high glucose concentrations, whereas stunting was significantly associated with having anaemia.
Limited dietary diversity and intake of high-energy-dense foods were notably observed among stunted overweight children. Furthermore, being stunted and/or overweight was associated with an increased likelihood of unhealthy lipid profiles.