CHILDREN`S LIFESTYLE BEHAVIORS IN RELATION TO ANTHROPOMETRIC INDICES: A FAMILY PRACTICE STUDY
Introduction. Obesity prevention in children represents one of the main concerns in primary care. In order to develop into a healthy adult, the child has to follow a healthy lifestyle in all aspects: nutritional, behavioral, physical and recreational. Our main goal was to identify which habits may influence the children’s somatic development.
Method. Our study, performed in a family practice, consisted in a questionnaire regarding physical activity, diet and use of electronic devices.
After obtaining the parent’s and child’s informed consent to participate in our cross-sectional study, 98 consecutive children aged 5-15 years, examined in the family practice, were enlisted. After collecting the answers, weight, height, waist circumference, wrist circumference, subscapular skinfold thickness were measured and body mass index was calculated.
Results. The analysis of the relationship between the anthropometric data showed a significant difference between girls and boys only in respect of the wrist circumference. The groups performing daily household activities had a significantly increased weight, BMI, abdominal and wrist circumference. Participation in physical education classes in school was associated significantly only with the wrist circumference. Frequent change of the option for extracurricular sport showed a significant difference in weight, waist circumference, and wrist in favor of the group that practiced many sports. Fast food diet and the type of alimentary habits of the family (home cooked, pre-cooked, or ordered food) showed differences between medians of the anthropometric indices with higher values for those eating more frequently fast food or ordered food, yet without reaching statistical significance.
Conclusion. Both girls and boys, in the presence of an unhealthy lifestyle (lack of recreational and educational physical activity, food habits, inappropriate time spent in front of a screen) had unfavorable adiposity indices.