eISSN: 2300-6722
ISSN: 1899-1874
Medical Studies/Studia Medyczne
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3/2023
vol. 39
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Dietary habits, physical activity and nutritional status in children with Down’s syndrome

Anna Wrzochal
1
,
Kamila Sobaś
1
,
Edyta Suliga
1

1.
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Collegium Medicum, Jan Kochanowski University, Kielce, Poland
Medical Studies/Studia Medyczne 2023; 39 (3): 238–248
Online publish date: 2023/09/30
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Introduction
To date, the risk factors for overweight and obesity in children with Down’s syndrome (DS) have not been comprehensively described, as studies on the subject are rare and usually conducted among small groups.

Aim of the research
To assess the dietary habits and physical activity, and their associations with nutritional status, in children with DS compared to a group of their typically developing peers.

Material and methods
A sample of 102 children with DS and 107 children without SD aged 5–14 years. Eating habits were assessed using the patient’s diary method over three days. Physical activity was measured using pedometers. Nutritional status was assessed based on body mass, height and fat percentage.

Results
Children with DS had an excessive body mass index (p < 0.0001) and fat percentage (p < 0.0001) more often than the controls. They showed lower physical activity (p < 0.0001) and a higher risk of an insufficient intake of dietary fibre (p = 0.0113). Other factors potentially affecting body mass and fat percentage in children with DS included age, female gender and fewer underage family members.

Conclusions
Physical activity in children with DS is insufficient to prevent chronic diseases. It is necessary to develop intervention programmes aimed at increasing participation in various forms of physical activity and changing their dietary habits.

keywords:

Down syndrome, children, obesity, nutrition, physical activity

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