There is an increasing trend of being overweight and obese in school-aged children, mainly attributable to reduced physical activity. Focus on reducing obesity and improving diet and physical activity is therefore a priority. Obesity is a nutritional disorder and is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Obesity is also implicated in the development of insulin resistance limiting the body's ability to absorb glucose.
Studies indicate that children have too much fat in their diets. Eating diets high in fat and being less physically active leads to positive energy balance which may be a predisposition to lifelong health problems (for example, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular problems, type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity) in older adult years.
Dental caries are caused by over indulging in sugary foods such as soft drinks and confectionery may predispose school aged children to poor dental health. The risk of tooth decay is greatest with the consumption of large amounts of sticky sugary and starchy foods that stick to the teeth (or example, sweets, sodas, lollies, and candies).
Iron-deficiency anaemia may develop in children whose diet is iron-deficient. Iron is an oxygen-carrying component of blood. Anaemia in school-aged children may result in deleterious effects including lower school achievement due to impaired cognitive development, poor attention rate and general fatigue. A study involving 5398 children between the ages of 6 and 16 in the United States, found that lower standardised maths test scores were found among those with iron deficiency. Children deficient in iron were twice as likely to score below average on math tests, this finding was more pronounced among girls.
22 January 2019