Parasitic Infection, Obesity, and Micronutrient Deficiencies in School-Aged Children in Mexico

Olga P García, Gerardo A Zavala, Maiza Campos-Ponce, Colleen M Doak, Katja Polman, Jorge L Rosado

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


There are well-established associations between intestinal parasites and malnutrition in children from low- and middle-income countries. Most information comes from paediatric populations with high prevalence of undernutrition while less is known about the effects of intestinal parasites in a population with high prevalence of overweight and obesity. In Mexico, approximately 30% children are overweight or obese and 50% are estimated to be infected with at least one species of intestinal parasite. Although the effects of intestinal parasites in children with obesity have not been broadly investigated, research in children from rural areas in Mexico showed that “non-pathogenic” protozoa Entamoeba coli is related to obesity and might contribute to fat deposition over time. Also, 34% of the studied children had at least one micronutrient deficiency, and the association between intestinal parasites and micronutrient deficiencies differed between children with normal body weight and obesity. Coexistence of obesity, parasitic infection and micronutrient deficiencies was present in approximately 14% of the children. More studies are needed to explore the consequences of parasitic infection in populations with high prevalence of obesity and micronutrient deficiencies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Growth and Nutrition in Latin American and Caribbean Countries
EditorsSudip Datta Banik
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783031278488
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2023


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