eISSN: 2300-6722
ISSN: 1899-1874
Medical Studies/Studia Medyczne
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2/2019
vol. 35
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Evaluation of diet in preschool-age children with Down syndrome – preliminary examination

Anna Wrzochal
,
Aleksandra Gładyś-Jakubczyk
,
Edyta Suliga

Medical Studies/Studia Medyczne 2019; 35 (2): 128–138
Online publish date: 2019/06/28
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Introduction
Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic pathology in the population. The risk factors of overweight and obesity in children with DS have not been comprehensively examined, and research in this area, conducted in Poland, is scarce.

Aim of the research
To evaluate the diets of children with Down syndrome in preschool age, depending on their nutritional status.

Material and methods
The survey was conducted in children with DS between the ages of three and six years. The analysis included 50 questionnaires correctly completed by parents or legal guardians. The children were divided into three groups according to the body mass index (BMI) index: overweight children, children with a normal BMI, and underweight children. To determine the relationship between BMI and diet, the c2 test was used, and the significance level was p < 0.05.

Results
Overweight children consume significantly more meals in kindergarten than other children (p = 0.04), including two lunches (in kindergarten and at home) (p = 0.02), and more often eat between meals (p = 0.007). In addition, hypothyroidism was significantly more frequent among children with overweight and obesity (p = 0.005). In the study group we also found frequent, unjustified applications of elimination diets, resulting from parents’ conviction about their beneficial effects on the health of children with DS.

Conclusions
In preschool-age children with Down syndrome, numerous nutritional errors are made resulting in disturbances in their nutritional status. It seems necessary to introduce nutritional education that mainly covers kindergarten employees responsible for nutrition, as well as parents and guardians of children with Down syndrome.

keywords:

overweight, body mass index, Down syndrome, nutritional errors

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