Data on anthropometric measurements of children are limited in Grenada. Figures (clinic data) for undernutrition (weight for age) among children 0-5 years, in recent times, are only available for the years 1997 (4.3%) and 1998 (2.8%), and indicate a decrease over the period. Overweight (weight for age) decreased from 4.0% in 1990 to 1.0% in 1996 (CFNI, 2000).
In a 1976 study carried out among children 0-5 years, 39.7% were found to be malnourished (weight-for-age) based on the "Gomez classification". Of the total number of children measured 1.6% were severely malnourished, 9.0% were moderately malnourished, and 29.1% were mildly malnourished. The prevalence of malnutrition increased with age, while the majority of malnourished children were from the costal areas of Victoria and Gouyave. These limited bits of information seem to suggest that severe malnutrition, for a long time, has not been a major problem in Grenada. Fairly high levels of mild to moderate malnutrition existed in the 1970s, but no information was found to confirm whether this was still the case.
Grenada is faced with the problem of iron deficiency anaemia. Although this problem is most common in pregnant and lactating women, and in pre-school children, the most recent survey indicates that iron deficiency is also present among children 6-14 years and among persons in the age groups 15-44 years and 45 years and older. Approximately 56% of the children 0-5 years are anaemic. There are more anaemic females (63.4%) than males (54.8%) in the 6-14 years age group, while in the 15-44 years age group the problem of anaemia is greater among the women (52.9%) than among the men (19.0%). In comparison to a 1985 study (CFNI, 1986), the prevalence of anaemia in the four age groups (0-5, 6-14, 15-44 and >45 years) appears to have increased. However, figures from the Ministry of Health for 1993 showed a prevalence of 58.5% for anaemia among pregnant women, a significant decrease from 73.7% in 1984, reported by the same source. Interestingly a 1975 study (Gueri, 1976) reported anaemia in 51% of pregnant women.
Data on the consumption pattern of Grenadians showed that meat and meat products accounted for the largest proportion of daily iron. However, among the poorest quintile counter flour (not fortified) provides the highest proportion of dietary iron. The poor are therefore more vulnerable to iron deficiency as they appear to consume less of the iron-rich foods from animals. Given the sharp increase in the contribution of fat to dietary energy supply between 1964-65 (22.6%) and 1996-98 (30.7%), it should not be surprising to find a high prevalence of overweight and obesity in the population. However, no anthropometric data are available to substantiate this view.
No data are available on the proportion of the population living below the poverty line. However, 73% of the population live in rural areas, and are likely to make up more of the group living in poverty than those living in urban areas. Economic access to food, especially among the poor/unemployed, may be playing a major role in level of some of the nutritional problems that the country faces.