Dietary patterns of primary school pupils according to their sex

Anna Dolipska, Aleksandra Góra, Karolina Janion, Elżbieta Szczepańska


Introduction: Nutrition is one of the most important environmental factors affecting human health. The frequency, as well as the quality and quantity of consumed foods are significant. Regular and rational dietary habits and correct meal composition ensure good health and fitness, whereas poor dietary habits in childhood account for an early risk of overweightness and obesity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the dietary patterns of girls and boys attending primary schools in Poland, and to identify any associations between the pupils’ dietary patterns and their sex. Materials and methods: The study was carried out in spring 2017. It covered a total of 1138 primary school pupils. A proprietary questionnaire specially designed for the study was used to investigate the pupils’ dietary patterns. The findings were then analysed with the use of MS Excel 2010 and Statistica 12.0 software.
Results: According to the survey, 67.36% of the female respondents and 55.4% of the male respondents ate the recommended number of meals each day. Among the respondents 72% of the girls and 73.27% of the boys reported eating breakfast daily. Fruits and vegetables were eaten several times per day by 60.38% and 43.11% of girls, respectively, v. 50.44% and 32.39% of boys, respectively. The frequency of milk and natural yoghurt consumption was adequate in 20.07% and 10.12% of girls, respectively, v. 20% and 11.5% of boys. Sweets and salty snacks were excluded from the diet of 2.97% and 2.27% of girls, respectively, v. 3.19% and 2.12% of boys, respectively. Sweetened carbonated drinks were consumed by 11.17% of girls and 6.55% of boys. Fast food and instant foods were eliminated from the daily diet of 7.16% and 45.03% of girls, respectively, v. 6.02% and 43.19% of boys, respectively.
Conclusions: Some incorrect dietary habits were identified both in girls and boys, however girls generally reported more beneficial habits. Statistically significant associations were found between the majority of dietary patterns in the studied population and the respondents’ sex. The results of the study indicate a need for more intense nutritional education among primary school pupils, diversified for boys and girls.


ary patterns; pupils; primary schools

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