Diet and Physical Activity Patterns of School-Aged Children

Department of Health Sciences, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Boston, MA 02215, USA.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association (Impact Factor: 3.92). 02/2009; 109(1):145-51. DOI: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.10.012
Source: PubMed


Childhood provides an opportunity for establishing healthful lifestyle habits, yet little is known about diet and physical activity patterns of elementary school-aged children. A cohort of 35 boys and girls in grades 3 through 5 (mean age=9.5 years) was studied during the course of the 2004-2005 school year, providing seasonal assessments of diet and physical activity. Objectively measured data included height, weight, and pedometer step counts. Subjective data included seasonal 3-day diet diaries, a food frequency questionnaire, and a physical activity questionnaire. Participants were white, well-nourished, and within the healthy range for body mass index for age. Only three students (9%) were overweight and another three were "at risk" for overweight. Food intake patterns fell far below MyPyramid guidelines for average daily servings of fruits and vegetables. High intakes of saturated fat (average of 12% of calories) and sodium were noted, along with inadequate fiber intakes. Snacks, desserts, and entrees that contributed most to calorie and saturated fat intake were identified. Self-reported physical activity appears in line with recommendations, but step counts fall short, particularly for girls and during winter months. These findings identify targets for behavioral and environmental interventions to reduce childhood obesity risks. Additional research involving more diverse populations is warranted.

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Available from: Paula A Quatromoni, May 07, 2014
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    • "It has been reported that adolescents do not have regular meals. Fruit and vegetable consumption was below while saturated fat consumption was higher regarding FGP recommendations among adolescents [7,16-18]. In the present study, 27% and 15% of the participants reported that they consume recommended amount of fats and; vegetables and fruits, respectively. "
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    ABSTRACT: Adolescence is a crucial period for development of dietary behaviors that continue into adulthood and influence the risk of chronic diseases later in life. The aim of this study was to determine the eating patterns of adolescents' and their compliance with the Food Guide Pyramid. 625 students, aged between 11-15 years, from an elementary school in Istanbul, Turkey were enrolled in this cross-sectional survey. A questionnaire of eating patterns (QEP) was administered to all participants. QEP is consisted of questions assessing the knowledge and behaviors on healthy eating, factors affecting food choice, physical activity status and demographical variables. Height and weight of all participants were measured. Physical activity status was determined by questioning about participation in regular sport activities, how much time spent watching TV, playing computer games or doing homework. The mean age of the participants was 12.15 ± 1.15 and 50.5% were female. According to body mass index (BMI) percentiles, 8.3% (52) were obese and 10.2% were overweight. 51% had breakfast every day and only 1.9% met all the recommendations of the Food Guide Pyramid. Among the participants, 31% have fast food at least once every day and 60.8% skip meals. When participants were asked to rate the factors effecting their food choice according to a 10 point Likert scale, the highest mean scores (high impact on food choice) were for the factors; family, health, body perception, teachers and friends; 7.5 ± 3.1, 7.4 ± 3.1, 6.1 ± 3.2, 4.8 ± 3.3 and 4.2 ± 3.0 respectively. Total mean time spent on all passive activities (TV, computer, reading homework etc) per day was 9.8 ± 4.7 hours. In this study we have demonstrated that, adolescents do not have healthy eating patterns. Educational interventions should be planned to decrease the health risks attributable to their eating behaviors.
    Nutrition Journal 12/2010; 9(1). DOI:10.1186/1475-2891-9-67 · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    • "However, acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges of our participants were within recommended with 57.7% from carbohydrate, 15.6% from protein, and 26.7% from fat for boys and 60.2% from carbohydrate, 13.8% from protein, and 26.1% from fat for girls. American children at this age group consumed on average 1766 kcal/day and 33% of calories from fat [20], which are higher than the results of our estimate of intakes. "
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    • "Optimal nutrition is therefore important for adolescents to grow and develop properly. Moreover, once dietary habits are formed during childhood, they tend to be carried on throughout adulthood, thus teaching adolescents to develop healthy eating habits is of critical importance [11]. "
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