Dietary intake, activity patterns and weight status of adolescents in economically disadvantaged communities

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Pender, Amy Catherine
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University of Guelph

Dietary intake, activity patterns and weight status of 477 grade six students were assessed as part of the longitudinal prevention project, Better Beginnings, Better Futures. Over 1/3 (36.7%) of adolescents did not eat breakfast everyday and 18.9% did not meet Canada's Food Guide for any food groups. The proportion of adolescents >=Dietary Reference Intakes for energy, fiber, calcium and folate was <34%, <3%, <17%, and <43%, respectively. Participation rates for most physical activities were low. Males (62.1%) were more likely to play computer/video games "4 or more times a week" than females ([chi]2 = 39.4; p < .001). Both males (34.1%) and females (39.2%) were >=85th percentile for BMI. Self-reported measures were not valid; only 50% and 82.6% of respondents were accurate within 5% of measured weight and height, respectively. Overall, negative health behaviours are present and should be targeted for improvement.

dietary intake, activity patterns, weight status, adolescents, economically disadvantaged communities