BriceÃ±o, Diana Julieth1; Quimbay-Torres, Demy SofÃa1; LeÃ³n, Miguel Ãngel1; Cardozo, Luis Alberto1,2
Introduction: Overweight and obesity are conditions that occur with increasing frequency in young schoolchildren. The percentage of body fat mass, levels of physical activity and nutritional habits are variables that should be studied and controlled in this population.
Objective: To analyze the percentage of fat mass and its relationship with levels of physical activity and nutritional habits presented by young schoolchildren from 11 to 15 years old.
Methods: A sample of 166 volunteer schoolchildren aged 11 to 15 years (n = 86 males and n = 80 females) participated in the study. The students were evaluated through anthropometry, the PAQ-A physical activity questionnaire and the Nutrition Questionnaire “Healthy Eating”.
Results: Differences in the fat percentage were found by gender, with higher values in women compared to men (32.6 vs. 26.1%); a higher proportion of men are in the categories of high and very high fat percentage compared to women (40 vs. 33.9%; p 0.05). An inverse correlation was found between the fat percentage and the levels of physical activity performed during the weekend. Likewise, directly proportional associations were evidenced between physical activity carried out at school and soft drink consumption, and additionally, between physical activity carried out in the afternoon with water consumption.
Conclusions: More men are overweight and obese compared to women. No significant differences were found in the levels of physical activity and nutritional habits between genders.