A comparison of anthropometric indices of nutritional status in Tukanoan and Achuar Amerindians Journal Article uri icon



  • AbstractAnthropometric data from a Tukanoan population in the Vaupes region of Colombia and an Achuar population in the Ecuadorian Amazon were compared relative to international references. The Tukanoans exploit an oligotrophic blackwater ecosystem, whereas the Achuar inhabit a resource rich montane ecosystem. Given this ecological distinction, three hypotheses regarding nutritional statuses were proposed: (1) Tukanoans are significantly shorter than the Achuar, indicating a greater degree of stunting; (2) Tukanoans are significantly leaner, indicating a greater degree of wasting; and (3) Tukanaons have significantly lower upper arm muscle area, indicating lower lean body mass. Z‐scores for height, weight‐for‐height, and estimated upper arm muscle area were determined and significant nutritional stress was assumed at z ≤ −2.0. Between population differences in z‐scores for height‐for‐age (ZHT), weight‐for‐height (ZWH), and upper arm muscle area (ZUMA) were examined using analysis of variance with a subsequent Scheffe's test. Between‐group differences in the frequencies of individuals with low z‐scores (z ≤ −2.0) were assessed via chi‐squared analysis. Both populations showed stunting in most age groups, but neither showed low ZWH or ZUMA. Significant differences between populations were found only for ZHT in children (females 1.0–4.9 and 5.0–9.9 years, and males 5.0–9.9 years). Tukanoans have significantly higher frequencies of stunting in all age‐sex groups except females and males age 30–49.9 years. There were no significant between‐population differences in the frequencies of individuals with low ZWH or ZUMA. These differences in nutritional status may reflect differences in resource availability. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 13:301–309, 2001. © 2001 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

publication date

  • May 1, 2001

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • November 1, 2013 5:24 AM

Full Author List

  • Orr CM; Dufour DL; Patton JQ

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1042-0533

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1520-6300

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 301

end page

  • 309


  • 13


  • 3