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133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Mildred (Millie) Naquin, PhD1, Diane Cole, MA1, Ed Walkwitz, EdD1, and Janie Kelly, MA2. (1) Health Studies, Southeastern Louisiana University, SLU - 10845, Hammond, LA 70402, 985-549-5251, firstname.lastname@example.org, (2) Louisiana Office of Public Health, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, 1772 Wooddale Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806
Method: Students in a public grade school within a university in grades 1-4 participated in this study to determine health practices associated with physical activity and diet. Seventy-six students were confidentially weighed and their height was measured to determine Body Mass Index (BMI). Students also answered closed-ended questions about their eating and physical activity behaviors. Descriptive statistics were conducted, with chi square analyses used to determine differences in the responses by grade level. Results: Students ranged in age from 6-11, with a mean age of 8. BMIs were diverse from 14 to 33, with an average of 18. Over half of the students were either at-risk for being overweight or overweight. Only 26% of the students reported eating at least two servings of fruit daily while 37% indicated that they ate at least 3 servings of vegetables daily. About one third said that they rode their bike while 46% watched TV or played video games daily. Students in the grades 3 and 4 were more likely to have consumed 2-3 fruits and 3-5 vegetables daily as compared to students in grades 1 and 2 while students in the lower grades reported drinking more diet and sugary drinks daily (p<.05). Conclusions: Results indicated the need for early interventions to promote healthy physical activity levels and dietary behaviors, starting in first grade. Such interventions should be continued in each grade level to help address the growing issue of obesity among youth.
Keywords: Obesity, Child Health Promotion
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.
The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA