Acta Medica Medianae
Zavod za javno zdravlje Pančevo Centar za higijenu i humanu ekologiju
Ul. Pasterova br. 2
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY INFLUENCE ON NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF PRESCHOOL CHILDREN
Radmila Jovanović1, Dubravka Nikolovski1, Olivera Radulović2 and Sonja Novak2
The prevalence of excessive body weight and obesity among children is increasing in many countries, including our country. It is believed that one of the two most important reasons for this increase is insufficient physical activity of children.The aim of this study was to examine the state of the level of nourishment of preschool children in relation to their level of physical activity. The survey was conducted in preschools in Pancevo. The sample consisted of 193 children (88 boys and 105 girls), aged 4 and 5 years. The assessment of the level of nourishment of the children and their parents was done after the standard anthropometric measurements of height, body weight, determining the body mass index and waist circumference and comparing the obtained values with the growth plates given by World Health Organization. Physical activity of the children was evaluated by a questionnaire which parents filled up. Inappropriate level of nourishment had 60 (31.1%) children, of which 26 (13.5%) with excessive body mass, obese 29 (15.0%), while 5 (2.5%) were malnourished. Children are most attracted to sports such as ballet or folk dances, ball games and swimming, but only 22 (15.83%) children are members of some sports club. The lack of finances and the lack of sports facilities and terrains are given as reasons by most parents. During the implementation of physical activities, 65.2% of children are never or sometimes exposed to excessive physical effort. The prevalence of insufficient physical activity among preschool children in Pancevo was high, particularly among children with excessive body weight and obese children. Socio-demographic and behavioral factors as well as behavior of parents significantly contributed to physical inactivity. Acta Medica Medianae 2010;49(1):17-21.
Key words: activity, nutritional status, preschool children