Objective To evaluate the eating behaviour patterns and physical activity of obese 6–10-year-old children.
Methods 500 children were screened for weight, height, body mass index (BMI), waist–hip ratio and those with BMI >95th centile—obese were assessed for eating behaviour and physical activity patterns as per the questionnaire, after taking consent from the school authorities and parents.
Results The prevalence of obesity was 10.6%, on further analysis it was found higher in 6–8 year-olds than in 8–10 year-olds (14% vs 5%). The mean age was 7.3 years with a mean weight of 34.25 + 7.2 kg, height 124.54 + 9.9 cm, BMI 23.26 + 0.37 and waist–hip ratio 0.8822 + 2.5, which was significantly higher than the controls. The carbohydrate, fat, protein and average caloric intake was also significantly higher (p = 0.00). The caloric intake from snacks was 189.04 + 79.01 calories and from cold drinks and fruit drinks was 102.82 + 30.7 calories significantly more (p = 0.00). The sedentary behaviours at school and home were 190 and 76 minutes, respectively, and physical activity at school and home was less (p = 0.00). Time spent on TV viewing was 162.94 + 31.7 minutes (p = 0.00). Average caloric intake in the obese was 2057, energy expenditure was 652 with a positive energy balance of 1404 calories daily (p = 0.00). Regression analysis showed significant odds ratios for intake of fat, protein, carbohydrate, snacks, cold drinks and fruit drinks; sedentary activity and long duration of television were the risk factors for obesity, whereas increased physical activity was responsible for decreased obesity among 8–10 year-olds.
Conclusion Lifestyle behaviours need modification especially at home in 6–8 year-olds.