Diet and physical activity in pre-school children: A pilot project for surveillance in three regions of Italy

Claudia Carletti, Anna Macaluso, Paola Pani, Margherita Caroli, Mariano Giacchi, Marcella Montico, Adriano Cattaneo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective To test a surveillance system on diet and physical activity based on data gathered at well-child visits. Design Cross-sectional data collection on growth, diet, physical activity and sociodemographic variables. Setting Offices of 179 paediatricians in three Italian regions. Subjects 26 898 children for a total of 32 915 well-child visits at 1, 3, 5-6, 8-9, 12, 18, 24, 36 and 60-72 months of age. Results The BMI Z-score was lower than the WHO standard at 1 and 3 months but higher from 8-9 months onwards. The rates of breast-feeding at 1, 3, 5-6, 8-9 and 12 months were 88 %, 75 %, 64 %, 52 % and 32 %, respectively, with 5 % and 3 % continuing up to 24 and 36 months. Exclusive breast-feeding was 64 %, 54 % and 20 % at 1, 3 and 5-6 months, respectively; 57 % at 5 months and 85 % at 6 months were given complementary foods. Only 8 % and 10 % of children were taking five portions of fruit and vegetables daily, while 47 % and 51 % were consuming sugar-sweetened beverages at 36 and 60-72 months, respectively. At 60-72 months, less than 10 % reported at least 1 h of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on 5-7 d/week, and 32 % watched television or played videogames for more than 2 h/d, every day. The majority of paediatricians rated the surveillance system as reliable and feasible. Conclusions Surveillance for diet and physical activity in pre-school children, with data gathered during well-child visits, is feasible and potentially useful to plan and evaluate activities for the prevention of obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)616-624
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

Keywords

  • Child growth
  • Diet
  • Physical activity
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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