Objective: Obesity is an increasing public health problem among both childhood and adults today, and therefore Nutrition-Friendly Schools Project encouraging healthy diets and an active life style has been brought on. The aim of this study was to evaluate physical activity and nutritional habits of the children at two nutrition-friendly secondary schools.
Methods: This is a descriptive study and performed with the volunteer 6th and 7th grade students of two nutrition-friendly secondary schools at a similar background and socioeconomical status in Tuzla province of Istanbul. Data were collected in October 2017. Students were asked about their sociodemographical features, nutritional habits and physical activity behaviour by a questionnaire. Additionally Quality of Diet Index (QDI) was applied. Heights, weights and waist circumferences were measured.
Results: Data obtained from 542 students (49.6% male, 50.4% female) who filled out the QDI scale totally, out of 645 students enrolled into the study, were evaluated. According to their BMIs 18.6% was obese, 25.3% was overweighted and 1.3% was thin. According to waist circumferences, 40.6% of them had abdominal obesity. Of the students, QDI 27.5% had good, 55.9% had fair and 16.6% had low points on QDI. Ones who had high BMIs, had low points on QDI. Both BMIs and waist circumference had a negative but also low correlation with QDI points (respectively, r=-0.114, p=0.008 and r=-0.086,p= 0.044). Students who spent 3 hours a day in front of tv or computer had lower QDI points, but had no difference with regards to BMI and waist circumference when compared to others who spent less time there (6.2±2.3, 5.3±2.5, p=0.001). BMIs and waist circumferences of the students declaring they had overweight relatives in their family, were (p<0.05). Although 51,4% of the students who had overweight relatives in their family, also had abdominal obesity,only 34% of the others with no overweight relatives, had abdominal obesity (p<0.001). Of the students, 44.4% had reported that they were doing no sports but only the school activities. Girls were doing less sports compared to boys (p<0.001). BMIsand waist circumferences were found higher among the ones who did not any sports(respectively, p=0.01 ve p=0.03).
Conclusion: In our study, it was found that the obesity rate was high despite all the nutrition-friendly activities. Therefore, developmental practices for healthy diets and physical activities at out of school time should also be taken into consideration as well, at the nutrition-friendly activities performed at schools.