Nutritional status of 8-year-old rural and urban Italian children: a study in Pistoia, Tuscany

Monica Tognarelli, Paola Picciolli, Stefania Vezzosi, Alda Isola, Franca Moretti, Elena Tommassetto, Anna Laura Fantuzzi, Giorgio Bedogni
2004 International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition  
In this study, performed in the province of Pistoia (Italy), we tested whether 8-year-old children living in rural areas differed from their urban peers as far as nutritional status, dietary habits and physical activity are concerned. The study sample was randomly selected to include 50% of the children attending the third elementary class in the province of Pistoia during 2002. A total of 1006 children underwent an anthropometric evaluation and an assessment of dietary habits and physical
more » ... s and physical activity by means of specific questionnaires. Of these children, 927 were born in Italy and are described in this report. The relationship between body mass index (BMIB/5th percentile versus 5th 5/BMI B/85th percentile versus 85th 5/BMI B/95th percentile versus BMI ]/95th percentile) and the environment (urban versus rural) was of borderline significance (P 0/0.051). However, the percentage of children with BMI ]/85th percentile was greater in rural (24%) than in urban (18%) areas (P 0/ 0.012). The choice of foods and the physical activity of rural children mirrored those of urban children. These data sound as an alarm in view of the current epidemics of obesity that are invading Italy and other Mediterranean countries.
doi:10.1080/09637480400002966 pmid:15545046 fatcat:vfybpyzdcrbzjhpow7opweqoua