Nutrition and the nutritional status of children before enrolment in the first class of elementary schools in Split

During the school year 1999/2000 the nutritional status of 919 children before enrolment in the first class of elementary schools in Split was examined. Anthropometric measurements were performed in all children, while biochemical examinations (haemoglobin, haematocrit) were performed in only 708 or 77% of the examinees. A survey of the weekly frequency of the consumption of cartain foodstuffs was carried out in 270 families, or a sample of 38% of examinees in whom the haematological values of blood components were biochemically examined. The aim of this paper is to compare the nutritional status of children in kindergartens with a 10 hour-program and three meals with those from kindergartens with a 6 hour-program and only one meal. Children from kindergartens with 10 hour-programs were found to have better nutritional status and haematological values. Values of haemoglobin in blood lower than 120 g/L were found in 13.3% of children in 6 hour-kindergarten programs and in 4.9% of those in 10 hour-programs and that difference is statistically significant. The data obtained indicate the importance and necessity of inclusion of as large as possible number of children into 10 hour-kindergarten programs and the further improvement of nutrition in pre-school institutions. In both groups more than 25% of the children had increased body weight, while about 15% had borderline values of haematocrits in blood. Therefore, it is necessary to inform the parents of kindergarten children with 6 hour-programs of the basic principles of healthy and regular nutrition.
Category: Clinical observations - professional paper
Volume: Vol. 46, No 2, april - june 2002
Authors: K. Ćurin
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