The aim of this study was to evaluate the body mass index (BMI), selected eating behaviour and physical fitness of children aged 10 years attending general education and sports classes in Siedlce. Subject children were 272 girls and boys mean aged 10.8-years attending general education (GC) and sports classes (SC). Survey questionnaires consisted of 18 questions about eating behaviour and physical activity. The BMI was determined for each child and compared with reference percentile charts. Eurofit testing was used to measure physical fitness. Increased physical fitness was positively correlated with beneficial eating behaviour among children. SC children showed significantly more frequent dietary intakes of milk, dairy products, poultry, fish, wholegrain bread, groats and vegetables when compared to GC ones. However, significantly more GC children ate red meat more frequently along with snacking on confectionery and savouries than SC ones. Most subjects fell within correct BMI percentile ranges. Underweight was more frequent in SC children at 12.85% than in GC children 9.88%. Overweight and obesity was most often observed in GC children (respectively 19.73% and 5.51%) compared to SC ones (respectively 14.37% and 3.8%). SC children achieved significantly better results in the Eurofit tests. The highest levels of physical fitness and most favourable BMIs and eating behaviour were observed more often among SC children than GC ones. The results confirmed the beneficial health effects of physical fitness for children.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited