Diet and lifesyle of a cohort of primary school children

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E. Caputo *
V. Talarico
F. Mattace
L. Giancotti
E. Anastasio
M. Baserga
(*) Corresponding Author:
E. Caputo | enrica.caputo@alice.it

Abstract

Introduction: the obesity is the disease of the new millennium, because it affects about 300 million people in the world, and especially it has a high prevalence in children. obesity is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus type ii, hypertension, problems of adaptation and relationship with other, lower self-esteem and depression. Aims: the objective of our study is to identify children at risk of overweight / obesity in order to primary prevention. We have organized meetings with children, families and school’s members where we discussed the results of our investigation about the importance of healthy diet and lifestyle. Patients-Methods: the study was carried out on 545 children (282F, 263M), age 6.-10 years, of two primary schools in Catanzaro, from 2008 to 2010. the valuation parameters were: gender, age, weight, height, blood pressure and waist circumference. to children were also administered a questionnaire about dietary habits and lifestyle. Statistical analysis: Fisher’s test. Results: We had that 62 % of children was normal weight, 27 % overweight, 11 % obese. A particularly relevant datum is that the percentage of overweight-obese boys of 8 and 9 years old was higher (56%) than that of normal weight. We found cases of hypertension only in obese children. 98% of obese, 80% of overweight and 24% of normal weight children had a high waist circumference. We did not find differences in food quality among normal weight and overweight/obese children. instead, we found significant differences in behavior between children: 90% of obese, 64% of overweight and 53% of normal weight children passed more than 2 hours in the afternoon watching television, playing computer and video games. 70% of normal weight, 82% of overweight and 95% of obese children practiced physical activity. Discussion/conclusion: our study shows a alarming fact about the increase of the obesity in children. in particular the most important problem is that this condition could predispose to cardio - metabolic, endocrine, respiratory, musculoskeletal and psychological consequence. So it is important that everybody who lives with children, especially parents and school’s members, educates children to have healthy lifestyles. these attentions may slow the worryng epidemic of obesity.

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