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The Relationship between Somatotype and Dietary Intake of 6 to 13 Year-old, Rural South African Children: Ellisras Longitudinal Study



 Objectives:  Development of obesity related to dietary intake was linked to four stages of human growth. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between somatotype and dietary intake of Ellisras rural children aged 6 to 13 years.

Methods: Data were used from 773 children [400 boys, 373 girls], aged 6-13 years, participating in the Ellisras Longitudinal Study. The Heath-Carter method of somatotyping was used. Dietary intake was measured using the 24h recall method. The recommended daily dietary allowance according to the Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] was used as cut-off points for high and low dietary intake.

Results: The ectomorphy rating was significantly high [6.3] in the mild group compared to other groups [ranges from 2.6 to 5.6]. The prevalence of low polyunsaturated fat was significantly high [71.4%] in the obese group compared to all other groups [ranges from 60.0 to 70.3%]. Ellisras rural children showed that total Protein [Beta=0.002 95%CI 0.00 to 0.004] and Energy [Beta= 0.001 95%CI 0.00 0.010] were significantly [P<0.05] related to endomorphy for unadjusted while Viatmine E (Beta= 0.01 95%CI 0.00 to 0.021) was significantly [P<0.04] associated with ectomorphy unadjusted for age and gender

Conclusion: Energy intake and total protein intake were significantly [P<0.01] related to endomorphy while Vitamin E was significantly [P<0.04] associated with ectomorphy. Future research should clarify how healthy are these children and how healthy is their lifestyle with respect to diet, physical activity, smoking and alcohol consumption today.

02 Nov, 2015
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e-Published: 08 Feb, 2016


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