Influence of physical activity and interest for food and sciences versus weight disorders in children aged 8 to 18 years

A Faik, E Vanderhulst, I Rossem, D Devroey

Research output: Contribution to journalScientific review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Being overweight and obesity are a growing problem and are often related to a lack of physical activity among younger people. This study aims to describe the prevalence of weight disorders in Belgian schoolchildren. Secondly, this study examines the association between physical activity, weight disorders and the interest in food and sciences.

METHODS: We examined 525 children aged between 8 and 18 years old, who attended the Brussels Food Fair or the Belgian Science Day in 2013. They completed a standardized questionnaire about lifestyle and physical activity. Their weight, height, blood pressure and waist circumference were measured. The physical condition of participants was estimated using the Ruffier test.

RESULTS: The average age of all participants was 11.2 years (95% CI: 8.7-13.7), the prevalence of being overweight and obesity was 16.3% and 5.4%, respectively. For all participants in the representative group the affiliation to a sports club was associated with a normal weight (P < 0.05). According to this study, the kind of transportation to school (foot/bike or car/bus) had no effect on their body mass index (BMI). Neither was there a significant relationship between the physical activity of the children and the result of their Ruffier test.

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of being overweight and obesity in children aged 8 to 18 years is alarming. Membership to a sports club was linked significantly to a normal weight and a lower prevalence of being overweight and obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E105-E113
JournalJournal of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene
Volume58
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

Keywords

  • Review
  • Physical activity
  • Weight disorders
  • Children
  • Adolescents

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