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Changing trend in nutrition and food consumption predisposes school children to overweight and obesity in Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria

Oyebola V Oyesiji, Israel O Otemuyiwa, Olumuyiwa S Falade, Steve Ra Adewusi
Nutrition and Health 2019 January 18, : 260106018821820

BACKGROUND: The consumption of instant foods like pasta and sweetened soft drinks have virtually replaced the traditional diets among children. This changing trend in food consumption could negatively affect the health status of school-aged children.

AIM: The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of consumption of instant foods (pasta) on anthropometric parameters and nutrient intake among children in Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

METHODS: Participants (126 healthy children, 66 boys and 60 girls, aged 4-12 years) were recruited from nursery and primary schools in Ife Central Local Government, Ile-Ife. The anthropometric measurements were taken and participants were classified based on body mass index (BMI) percentiles. A food frequency questionnaire was administered to evaluate participants' pasta consumption patterns, while food intakes were obtained through 24-h dietary recall. The samples of food consumed by the children were analyzed for their nutrient contents. Nutrient intake was calculated using the data obtained from 24-h dietary recall and the results were compared with the recommended dietary allowances.

RESULTS: The average estimated energy intakes were 6167 kJ and 6095 kJ for male and female participants, respectively. The energy intake per kg body weight increased with increasing frequency of the consumption of pasta. There was a positive correlation ( r = 0.873 and 0.998 at P ≤ 0.05 for male and female participants, respectively) between energy intake and weight. The BMI classification showed that 12% of males and 17% of females were overweight or obese.

CONCLUSION: It can be concluded that the consumption of pasta could predispose children to overweight/obesity.


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