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.

Download full-text


Available from: Paula A Quatromoni, May 07, 2014
  • Source
    • "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. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · Nutrition Journal
  • Source
    • "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. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Prevalence of childhood obesity is increasing significantly worldwide due to energy imbalance perhaps stemming from undesirable dietary behavior and physical activity level. The objective of the study was to examine the effects of physical activity level on nutritional status in elementary school students. The subjects were comprised of 287 elementary school students between 4th and 6th grades in Seoul, Korea. The level of physical activity was scored with a modified Godin leisure-time exercise questionnaire and was categorized as active, moderately active, and sedentary. Dietary intakes were obtained using a 24-hour food recall method. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to test for global significant differences of nutrient intakes by physical activity level. Boys were more active than girls. Daily intakes of energy in moderately active boys were significantly higher than in the sedentary group, but intakes of calcium and iron in moderately active boys were lower than active boys. For girls, physical activity level did not affect nutrient density at all. Intakes of calcium, vitamin C, and folate for both boys and girls were below 50% of recommended intake. Physical activity did not affect nutrient density and our participants were exposed to nutritional imbalance. Therefore, the results suggest that nutrition education regarding balanced diet and optimum physical activity is required for children's health and growth.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · Nutrition research and practice
  • Source
    • "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]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We performed this study to examine lifestyle patterns and dietary behavior based on the level of Internet addiction of Korean adolescents. Data were collected from 853 Korean junior high school students. The level of Internet addiction was determined based on the Korean Internet addiction self-scale short form for youth, and students were classified as high-risk Internet users, potential-risk Internet users, and no risk Internet users. The associations between the students' levels of Internet addiction and lifestyle patterns and dietary behavior were analyzed using a chi-square test. Irregular bedtimes and the use of alcohol and tobacco were higher in high-risk Internet users than no risk Internet users. Moreover, in high-risk Internet users, irregular dietary behavior due to the loss of appetite, a high frequency of skipping meals, and snacking might cause imbalances in nutritional intake. Diet quality in high-risk Internet users was also worse than in potential-risk Internet users and no risk Internet users. We demonstrated in this study that high-risk Internet users have inappropriate dietary behavior and poor diet quality, which could result in stunted growth and development. Therefore, nutrition education targeting high-risk Internet users should be conducted to ensure proper growth and development.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2010 · Nutrition research and practice
Show more