Variations of body composition, physical activity and caloric intake in schoolchildren during national holidays
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Abstract: Scientific literature has described that a significant body weight increase in schoolchildren occurs during some holiday periods (summer, winter, and thanksgiving holidays), harming their health. In this regard, it is thought that this phenomenon is mainly due to changes in eating habits and the variation in levels of physical activity; however, this approach has not yet been explored during national holidays (NAH) in Chile. Purpose: To determine any changes in body composition, physical activity and caloric intake during NAH. Methods: A total of 46 schoolchildren (24 boys, age 10.5 ± 0.5; BMI 21.7 ± 4.7) participated. Measurements were performed 2 days before and after the NAH (9 days). Weight was measured and fat percentage was established using the Slaughter formula. Levels of physical activity were measured with accelerometers, validating 3 weekdays and 1 weekend; caloric intake was established through a 24-h recall. Results: Weight, percentage of fat and caloric intake increased significantly (250 g, 2.2 % and 733.3 kcal, respectively; p < 0.05); however, none of the variables of physical activity showed significant changes. Conclusion: The change in caloric intake seems to be the main cause of weight and fat gain during the NAH. © 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.
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