[Evaluation of the nutritional status and feeding patterns of 3-7 year old children —results of a questionnaire]

H Weker
Medycyna Wieku Rozwojowego 2000, 4 (3 Suppl 1): 41-52
Questionnaire studies on feeding patterns and nutritional status of 822 pre-school children (age 3-7) in different regions of Poland were performed between June 1999 and January 2000. Nutritional status was evaluated on the basis of anthropometric indices - height, body weight, body mass index (BMI) and BMI z-score. The mode of feeding was evaluated on the basis of recall of 24-hours menus. Average daily food rations and their nutritional value were calculated from the questionnaires data. Quantity and number of meals were also evaluated. In a group of 402 boys the average height was between 75-90 percentiles and body mass (50-75 percentiles). In 420 girls the average height was about the 90 percentile (age 3-4) and between 75-90 percentiles (age 5-7). The study showed that normal BMI z-score was found in 75% of children, underweight in 16.5% overweight and obesity in 8.5%. Feeding patterns showed great than differences. It was found that meat, fat, sweets and sugar content in daily food rations exceeded the recommended for pre-school children, but the vegetables intake was lower than recommended. Vitamins A and C deficiency in average daily rations didn't occur. The fat intake provided 36% of total energy, whereas carbohydrates (without lactose and starch) - about 20%. This can have inhibitory effect on microelements (Fe, Zn) absorption. Attention must be paid to the choice of products and the wrong distribution of total energy intake in daily rations. The habits of snack eating between the meals were reported in 91% of children. These snacks consisted of fruits, chips, french fries, sweets and sandwiches. These products provides 232 kcal +/- 171 kcal/day.

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