Diet and physical activity behaviors in school children and adolescents from Georgia
Kayser, Elise Elizabeth
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Dietary and physical activity behaviors among 4th, 8th, and 11th grade students (n=2479) residing in rural and non-rural areas of Georgia, USA, were determined and the associations with overweight explored. Height and weight were measured and age and sex-specific BMI percentile calculated. The School Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey were used to assess dietary and activity behaviors. Logistic regression models were established for overweight or non-overweight as the outcome and diet and activity behaviors as the predictors. Less than half of the Georgia’s school-age children and adolescents eat the recommended servings of dairy (41.4%) and fruits and vegetables (18.0%) and less than half of adolescents reported eating breakfast consistently (43.8%). Approximately 70.6% of Georgia’s students met the current recommendations for vigorous activity. Dietary and activity variables were not associated with overweight in the 4th grade. Among 8th and 11th grades, meal patterns, including breakfast consumption, meal and snacking frequency were associated with overweight. Physical activity/inactivity variables especially team sports participation and television (TV) viewing, were associated with overweight (P < 0.05). In conclusion, regular breakfast consumption, and consistent snacking and meal patterns may help maintain energy balance in adolescents. Furthermore, increased participation in sports after school and reduced TV viewing promote physical activity and decreases physical inactivity, therefore, reduces the odds of overweight.