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Revista de Nutrição

On-line version ISSN 1678-9865


PELEGRINI, Andreia; SILVA, Diego Augusto Santos; PETROSKI, Edio Luiz  and  GLANER, Maria Fátima. Nutritional status and associated factors in schoolchildren living in rural and urban areas. Rev. Nutr. [online]. 2010, vol.23, n.5, pp.839-846. ISSN 1678-9865.

Objective The objectives of this study were to assess the nutritional status of schoolchildren living in urban and rural areas in the southern region of Brazil, and investigate a possible association between nutritional status and demographic factors and level of physical activity. Methods A total of 1,415 schoolchildren (720 boys and 695 girls) participated in the study; of these, 878 lived in rural areas and 537 lived in urban areas. Demographic (gender, age, residence location) and anthropometric (body weight and height) data were collected and level of physical activity investigated. Nutritional status (malnutrition and excess weight) was classified according to body mass index following the International Obesity Task Force criteria. The level of physical activity was classified into two categories (more or less active). Results The prevalence of malnutrition was 11.4% (CI95%=9.85-13.16) and the prevalence of excess weight was 11.2% (CI95%=9.66-12.95). The prevalence of excess weight was higher among adolescents living in urban areas (14.0%; CI95%=12.29-15.91) than among those living in rural areas (6.7%; CI95%=5.51-8.12). Boys with lower levels of physical activity (OR=1.74; CI95%=1.03-2.94) were more likely to be malnourished. On the other hand, adolescents living in urban areas (OR=3.40; CI95%=1.88-6.17) and less physically active (OR=1.88; CI95%=1.07-3.33) were more likely to be overweight or obese. Girls aged 10 to 13 years were more likely to be malnourished (OR=1.95; CI95%=1.17-3.24) and those living in urban areas (OR=1.75; CI95%=1.03-2.99) were more likely to be overweight or obese. Conclusion The prevalence of malnourished schoolchildren is still high. In contrast, the prevalence of excess weight was similar to that observed in South and Southeast Brazil. Boys with low levels of physical activity and girls aged 10 to 13 years are more exposed to malnutrition. Boys and girls living in urban areas and boys with low levels of physical activity are more exposed to the risk of becoming overweight or obese.

Keywords : Nutritional status; Obesity; Adolescent health; Overweight.

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