[Selected nutritional habits children and teenagers aged 10-15 years]

Ewa Stefańiska, Agnieszka Falkowska, Lucyna Ostrowska
Roczniki Państwowego Zakładu Higieny 2012, 63 (1): 91-7

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was the evaluation of chosen nutritional habits in group of children and teenagers attending elementary schools and junior high schools in Bialystok.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: All together there were examined 1829 children aged 10 to 15 (884 children from primary school and 945 students ofjunior high school). Body height and weight were measured to assess Body Mass Index. The results were interpreted with the use of the centile charts for the children recommended by The Institute of Mother and Child in Warsaw. Nutritional habits of children and teenagers were assessed based on the questionnaire form (designed in the Department of Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition, Medical University of Bialystok). The questionnaire contained questions regarding the number and type commonly consumed meals, the regularity of consumption, the frequency of additional eating between meals, and the frequency of consumption of selected groups of food products.

RESULTS: In the study group of 1829 children the proper body weight was observed in more than 66% of the examined population. By analyzing the number of consumed meals it was stated that nearly half of all examined children consumed 4 meals a day. Among meals consumed most frequently were dinner, breakfast and supper. It was revealed that in comparison to boys girls of both younger and older group considerably more frequently included in their rations consumption of lunch. Eating between meals was rather common occurrence among all of the examined children. In all of compared groups low consumption of porridge, whole meal bread, milk, curd cheese, fishes, leguminous plants and raw fruits. At the same time it was shown that both older and younger boys considerably more often consumed meat and its preserves. Opposite tendency was noted in case of consumption of raw fruits. The majority of examined children and teenagers independently of gender groups declared excessive intake of sweets, which may have an unfavourable impact on their further development and health.

CONCLUSIONS: Shown in this study a significant proportion of children with excessive body weight with persistently incorrect dietary intake requires targeted educational activities including prevention of diet related diseases, both in the school and home environment.

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