Relationships among weight status, dairy food consumption, food and physical activity behavior, and nutritional status parameters of preschoolers in Tillamook County, Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/b8515s030

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  • The purpose of this cross-sectional population study was to provide an assessment of weight status of a county's preschool population utilizing the new growth charts and expressed as Body Mass Index, or BMI, -for- age percentile. This study was conducted in conjunction with an annual health screen for incoming kindergartners and consisted of two phases. The first phase involved assisting in the collection of, and statistically analyzing preschoolers' data collected during the Tillamook Health Screen on May 23-25th, 2001. Height, weight, blood pressure, hemoglobin, and blood lead levels were measured. Also, the preschoolers' parents completed a 24-hour food intake record and answered questions on mealtime habits. Phase Two consisted of a mailed questionnaire that was sent to parents of preschoolers who were screened in May, 2001, to investigate dairy food consumption, where meals are eaten, and physical activity habits of their preschoolers. Four significant findings were documented in this research. Foremost, Tillamook County preschoolers had a lower prevalence of healthy weight and a higher prevalence of at risk of overweight and overweight levels than children their age nationwide. Also, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure increased with increasing BMI-for-age percentiles for males and females. Third, hours spent viewing television—sedentary behavior—was positively related to BMI-for-age percentiles. The combination of more hours of physical activity with less television viewing time was inversely related to BMI-for-age percentiles. Last, Tillamook County preschoolers who were above the healthy weight range ate more Food Guide Pyramid servings of concentrated fats/sweets than children in the healthy weight range. Data that were not strong enough to reach conclusions about weight status related to dairy product consumption, fat content of dairy products, mealtime habits, meals eaten away from home, blood hemoglobin, and blood lead. Also, no significant associations were found between dairy food intake and blood hemoglobin, blood lead, or blood pressure. Even at preschool ages, physical activity and diet are important to assess when increasing rates of overweight levels and associated increases in blood pressure are being investigated.
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