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Assessment of physical development and diet of primary school children in Smolensk


The growth and development of children largely depends on the diet. Irrational and irregular nutrition can contribute to the development of nutritional-dependent diseases of children and adolescents, the formation of overweight and obesity.

The aim of the research - the assessment of physical development and diet of primary schoolchildren living in Smolensk.

Material and methods. 817 schoolchildren aged 7-10 have been surveyed, of whom 403 (49.3%) were girls and 414 (50.7%) were boys. In the process of the study, the length and body mass have been measured, body mass index (BMI) has been calculated. Assessment of the physical development of children has been carried out according to the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) using the software product WHO AnthroPlus (2009). Z-score values for body weight for age, body length for age, and BMI for age have been calculated. In the process of the study, children were questioned. A questionnaire on the diagnosis of the lifestyle of children, developed by specialists from the University of Cologne, made it possible to evaluate the mode and structure of nutrition of schoolchildren.

Results and discussion. It has been revealed that the average values of mass-growth indicators of Smolensk primary schoolchildren were higher compared with the standard WHO population. Deviations of physical development in the studied sample of schoolchildren were more concerned with body weight than growth, while obesity in boys was detected significantly more often than in girls (11.9 vs 5.2%, χ2=10.465, p=0.002). It has been established that the majority of primary schoolchildren (84.8%) ate 3-5 times a day. 92.7% of schoolchildren have breakfast at home. In the school canteen, only 55.6% of schoolchildren ate regularly. In the interval between dinner and supper, the majority (96.8%) of the respondents had a snack, of which 43.7% used patties, cookies or sweets for snacking. Almost half of primary schoolchildren (45.4%) admitted that they had food intake just before bedtime. Moreover, boys did this significantly more often than girls (50.8 vs 41.0%, χ2=5.209, p=0.023).

Conclusion. In order to prevent the formation of overweight and obesity among primary schoolchildren, it is necessary to introduce a complex of preventive measures. Among them, there are rationalization of children’s nutrition in the family and school, optimization of the day regime and physical activity of children, psychological support for children with overweight and obesity, the introduction of modern educational and information technologies for the formation of a healthy lifestyle of children.

Keywords:physical development, primary schoolchildren, overweight, obesity, diet

For citation: Tsukareva EA, Avchinnikov A.V., Alimova I.L. Assessment of physical development and diet of primary school children in Smolensk. Voprosy pitaniia [Problems of Nutrition]. 2019; 88 (4): 34-40. doi: 10.24411/0042-8833-2019-10039 (in Russian)

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