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© Borgis - New Medicine 1/2009, s. 7-12
*Wojciech Chalcarz, Sylwia Merkiel, Zdzisława Hodyr
FOOD BEHAVIOUR IN PRESCHOOL CHILDREN FROM PABIANICE
Food and Nutrition Department of the Eugeniusz Piasecki
University School of Physical Education in Poznan
Head of the Department: Dr hab. Wojciech Chalcarz, prof. nadzw. AWF
Summary
Aim.The aim of this study was to assess food behaviour in preschool children who attended preschools in Pabianice.
Material and methods. The study was carried out in 191 children aged 5 and 6 years, including 79 girls and 112 boys, who attended preschools in Pabianice. The assessment of food behaviour included: number of meals eaten at home, regularity of having these meals, frequency of eating selected foodstuffs, preparing meals at home for the children, children´s taste preferences, as well as parents´ opinion about the adequacy of their children´s food intake at home and about their own knowledge on nutrition in children. Statistical analysis was carried out by means of the SPSS 12.0 PL for Windows computer program. The studied population was divided according to gender.
Results. Gender had a statistically significant impact on eating between the main meals, frequency of eating wholemeal bread, fruit, and milk and dairy products, bitter taste preferences, salty taste preferences, and taking into account parents´ food preferences when preparing meals for their children.
Conclusions. The most common nutritional mistakes in the studied population of preschool children was eating until the feeling of satiety, eating vegetables and fruit too seldom, as well as eating meat and its equivalents, and sweets too frequently. To avoid these mistakes, parents should be educated on nutrition in preschool children.
INTRODUCTION
Adequate nutrition in preschool age is of vital importance due to rapid psychomotor development of the child and establishment of food habits [1, 2]. Proper nutrition along with physical activity during childhood is essential for life-long health and prevents diet-related diseases, especially overweight and obesity [3], cardiovascular diseases [4, 5], type 2 diabetes [6] and hypertension [7].
Monitoring preschool children´s food intake and food behaviour is even more important if we take into account the scarce Polish research in this field recently, aimed at assessment of either dietary intake in preschool [8, 9, 10] or food behaviour in general [11, 12, 13]. There are no studies focused on food behaviour in preschool children during their stay at home.
AIM
The aim of this study was to assess food behaviour in preschool children who attended preschools in Pabianice.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Questionnaires on children´s food behaviour were filled in by parents of 191 children aged 5 and 6 years, including 79 girls and 112 boys, who attended preschools in Pabianice. General information about the children and their families and about health status of the children and their families, as well as parents´ opinions about their children´s body weight and health status, was presented in our previous article [14]. The assessment of food behaviour included: number of meals eaten at home, regularity of having these meals, frequency of eating selected foodstuffs, preparing meals at home for the children, children´s taste preferences, and parents´ opinion about the adequacy of their children´s food intake at home and about their own knowledge on nutrition in children.
The research was approved by the Bioethics Committee of the Poznan University of Medical Sciences.
Statistical analysis was carried out by means of the SPSS 12.0 PL for Windows computer program. The studied population was divided according to gender.
RESULTS
Table 1 shows parents´ answers to the questions about their children concerning number of meals eaten, the longest interval between meals, eating until the feeling of satiety, eating between the main meals and regularity of having meals at home, according to gender. Gender had a statistically significant impact on eating between the main meals. More boys than girls, 91.1% vs 79.7%, ate between the main meals.
Table 1. Number of meals, the longest interval between meals, eating until the feeling of satiety, eating between the main meals and regularity of eating meals [%].
No.QuestionAnswersGirls
(n=79)
Boys
(n=112)
1.Number of meals≤ 3 meals10.34.6
4 meals39.737.8
5 meals41.045.9
6 meals9.011.7
2.The longest interval between meals≤ 4 hours88.594.6
>4 hours11.55.4
3.Eating until the feeling of satiety89.786.6
4.Eating between the main meals79.791.1
5.Having breakfast regularly94.997.3
6.Having lunch regularly59.562.5
7.Having dinner regularly97.596.4
8.Having tea regularly81.086.6
9.Having supper regularly98.798.2
Bold type denotes statistically significant results (p=0.05).
Table 2 presents parents´ answers to the questions about their children concerning frequency of eating selected foodstuffs, according to gender. Gender had a statistically significant impact on frequency of eating wholemeal bread, fruit, and milk and dairy products. All these foodstuffs were consumed more frequently by girls.
Table 2. Frequency of eating selected foodstuffs [%].
No.FoodstuffFrequencyGirls
(n=79)
Boys
(n=112)
1.Wholemeal breadNever51.367.6
Once a day30.324.0
Twice a day13.26.5
Three times a day3.91.9
Four times a day1.30.0
2.VegetablesNever8.19.3
Once a day63.558.9
Twice a day25.728.1
Three times a day2.72.8
Five times a day0.00.9
3.FruitNever0.00.9
Once a day19.726.7
Twice a day43.550.0
Three times a day31.617.0
Four times a day2.64.5
Five times a day2.60.9
4.Milk and dairy productsNever1.32.8
Once a day19.733.0
Twice a day51.343.1
Three times a day26.419.3
Four times a day1.30.9
Five times a day0.00.9
5.Meat and meat productsNever3.91.8
Once a day40.330.3
Twice a day40.351.4
Three times a day15.516.5
6.PoultryNever18.119.8
Once a day68.169.3
Twice a day12.49.9
Three times a day1.41.0
7.FishNever37.545.5
Once a day55.651.5
Twice a day6.93.0
8.EggsNever21.332.0
Once a day74.762.2
Twice a day4.05.8
9.SweetsNever1.36.6
Once a day44.742.5
Twice a day32.931.1
Three times a day17.213.2
Four times a day3.95.7
Six or more times a day0.00.9
Bold type denotes statistically significant results (p=0.05).

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Piśmiennictwo
1. Merkiel S, Chalcarz W: Nutrition in preschool age: Part 1. Importance, reference values, methods of research and their application. Review. New Medicine 2007; 11: 68-73. 2. Uauy R et al.: Nutrition, child growth, and chronic disease prevention. Ann Med 2008; 40: 11-20. 3. Wofford LG: Systematic Review of Childhood Obesity Prevention. J Pediatric Nurs 2008; 23: 5-19. 4. Szostak-Węgierek D: Profilaktyka miażdżycy u dzieci i młodych osób dorosłych. Ped Pol 2007; 82: 550-558. 5. Daniels SR, Greer FR and the Committee on Nutrition: Lipid Screening and Cardiovascular Health in Childhood. Pediatrics 2008; 2: 198-208. 6. Giannini C, Mohn A, Chiarelli F: Physical exercise and diabetes during childhood. Acta Biomed 2006; 77(Suppl 1): 18-25. 7. Marcovecchio ML et al.: Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in obese children: role of insulin resistance. J Hypertens 2006; 24: 2431-6. 8. Merkiel S, Chalcarz W, Wegner M: Ocena jadłospisów przedszkolnych. Część I. Energia i makroskładniki. Med Środ 2009, w druku. 9. Chalcarz W, Merkiel S, Wegner M: Ocena jadłospisów przedszkolnych. Część II. Witaminy i składniki mineralne. Med Środ 2009, w druku. 10. Czech A, Kęska A: Zawartość składników pokarmowych w zimowych i letnich posiłkach przedszkolnych. Żyw Człow 2007; 34: 572-577. 11. Weker H et al.: Żywienie dzieci w wieku przedszkolnym. Ogólna charakterystyka sposobu żywienia. Rocz Państ Zakł Hig 2000; 51: 385-392. 12. Kozłowska-Wojciechowska M, Makarewicz-Wujec M: Badanie preferencji żywieniowych dzieci w wieku przedszkolnym. Rocz Państ Zakł Hig 2005; 56: 165-169. 13. Mastalerz-Migas A et al.: Czy nasze dzieci żyją zdrowo? Fam Med Prim Care Rev 2007; 9: 525-527. 14. Chalcarz W, Merkiel S, Hodyr Z: Nutritional status of preschool children from Pabianice. New Med. (Wars.) 2008; 12(2), 29-35. 15. Chalcarz W, Radzimirska-Graczyk M, Dulat D: Wybrane zwyczaje żywieniowe dzieci w wieku przedszkolnym z różnych regionów Polski. Żyw Człow Metab 2005; Supl. 1 (2): 786-789. 16. Chalcarz W: Praktyczne wykorzystanie współczesnych zaleceń żywieniowych w kulturze fizycznej. [W:] Teoria i metodyka rekreacji ruchowej. (Zagadnienia podstawowe). (Ed.: Kiełbasiewicz-Drozdowska I, Siwiński W), Wydawnictwo AWF, Poznań, 2001). 17. Charzewska J et al.: Aspekty zdrowotne częstości spożywania posiłków - nowe spojrzenie na tradycyjne zwyczaje. Żyw Człow Metab 2003; 30: 68-75. 18. Wądołowska L et al.: Comparison of nutritional value insnacking and not snacking young people´s food. Pol J Food Nutr Sci 2001; 10/51: 67-74. 19. Chalcarz W, Radzimirska-Graczyk M, Dulat D: Sposób żywienia i aktywność ruchowa dzieci w wieku przedszkolnym z różnych regionów Polski. Materiały X Jubileuszowej Międzynarodowej Konferencji Naukowej: Uwarunkowania środowiskowe zdrowia dzieci. Legnica 1-2 czerwca 2001 roku, 53-59. 20. Ziemlański Ś (red.): Normy żywienia człowieka. Fizjologiczne podstawy. PZWL, Warszawa 2001.
Adres do korespondencji:
*Wojciech Chalcarz
Department of Food and Nutrition, University School of Physical Education
Droga Dębinska Str. 7
tel/fax: +4861 8355287
e-mail: chalcarz@awf.poznan.pl

New Medicine 1/2009
Strona internetowa czasopisma New Medicine