Influence of nutritional status on postural balance in children: A pilot study [Influencia del estado nutricional sobre el equilibrio postural en niños: Un estudio piloto]
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Introduction: Increased body mass index may affect the performance of functional tasks, such as balance, increasing the risk of falls and injuries; however, evidences are limited in children. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of nutritional status on postural balance in children between 6 and 9 years old. Material and Methods: Cross-sectional descriptive study. 71 children between 6 and 9 years old were evaluated. Weight and height were measured. Balance was measured with eyes-open (EO) and eyes-closed (EC) on a force platform. The following variables were obtained of the center of pressure (CP): area, mean velocity, mediolateral velocity and antero-posterior velocity. Lineal regression was used to explore the association between the CP variables and overweight and obesity versus normal weight adjusted by sex. Results: The children with excess body mass presented higher values in the CP variables such as mean velocity EO (β=0.018; p=0.005), mediolateral velocity EO (β=0.122; p=0.005), anteroposterior velocity EO (β=0.041; < 0.001), mean velocity EC (β=0.009, p < 0.001), mediolateral velocity EC (β= 0.067, p < 0.001) and anteroposterior velocity EC (β=0.409; p < 0.001). These last two variables adjusted by sex. In addition, significant correlations were observed between increased BMI and poor postural balance (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Overweight and obese children between 6 and 9 years old have a lower postural balance than normal weight. With eyes closed, the sex variable also influences postural control.
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