Background and Aims Obesity represents a major, global health problem, continuously increasing all over the world, including Romania. We carried out an epidemiological study on the alimentary behavior and physical activity in overweight and obese school children.
Methods The target population was represented by 41 overweight school children, 68 obese and 57 normal weight, from Craiova, in 2008–2011. Inclusion criteria: children aged 6–14 years with BMI≥95 percentile/sex/age for obesity, 85≤BMI< 95 percentile/sex/age for overweight and 85< IMC≤5 percentile/sex/age for normal weight. For every child in our group we followed the alimentary inquiry, the physical activity inquiry, the connection between physical activity and food intake.
Results The overweight prevalence was 7.1% and that of obesity 12.2%. The overweight and obese children, as compared to the normal weight ones eat, daily, sweets (57.7%, 62.1% vs. 12.3%), soft drinks (23.9%, 39.9% vs. 5.2%), fast-food (22.8%, 36.7% vs. 9.4%), meat products (54.6%, 76.1% vs. 43.8%), fruits (16.8%, 7.3% vs. 48.5%), vegetables (41.3%, 13.9% vs. 84.5%), cereals (31.1%, 24.7% vs. 49.8%), milk products (18.1%, 32.2% vs. 62.3%). 54.7% of the overweight children and 60.1% of the obese do not perform any physical activity in their spare time, as compared to the normal weight (29.8%). The food consumption while watching TV or playing on the computer was associated with overweight and obesity in children.
Conclusions Following the nutritional and physical activity investigation in the school children, I noticed an alimentary abuse, both quantitative and qualitative, associated with a physical activity decrease.