Magdalena Zalewska, Jacek Jamiołkowski, Agnieszka Genowska, Ewa Rodakowska, Andrzej Szpak and Elżbieta Maciorkowska
Maintenance of proper health and prevention of diseases of civilization are now significant public health problems. Nutrition is an important factor in the development of youth, as well as the current and future state of health. The aim of the study was to show the benefits of the application of cluster analysis to assess the dietary habits of high school students. The survey was carried out on 1,631 eighteen-year-old students in seven randomly selected secondary schools in Bialystok using a self-prepared anonymous questionnaire. An evaluation of the time of day meals were eaten and the number of meals consumed was made for the surveyed students. The cluster analysis allowed distinguishing characteristic structures of dietary habits in the observed population. Four clusters were identified, which were characterized by relative internal homogeneity and substantial variation in terms of the number of meals during the day and the time of their consumption. The most important characteristics of cluster 1 were cumulated food ration in 2 or 3 meals and long intervals between meals. Cluster 2 was characterized by eating the recommended number of 4 or 5 meals a day. In the 3rd cluster, students ate 3 meals a day with large intervals between them, and in the 4th they had four meals a day while maintaining proper intervals between them. In all clusters dietary mistakes occurred, but most of them were related to clusters 1 and 3. Cluster analysis allowed for the identification of major flaws in nutrition, which may include irregular eating and skipping meals, and indicated possible connections between eating patterns and disturbances of body weight in the examined population.
Magdalena Zalewska, Jacek Jamiołkowski, Agnieszka Genowska, Irena Białokoz-Kalinowska, Anna Daszuta-Zalewska and Elżbieta Maciorkowska
Nutrition is one of the most important environmental factors affecting the physical development and health of children. Education in this area and the development of proper eating habits are priorities. A prerequisite for the proper nutrition of preschool children is knowledge of proper nutrition of people working there. The aim of this study was an evaluation of the knowledge of kindergarten employees participating in the course “Diet full of life – courses in the field of children’s nutrition”. The study included 90 employees of nurseries and kindergartens, participants of the course in the field of children’s nutrition. The research tool was an original questionnaire. Study I (pre-test) was performed before the beginning of the course, while study II (post-test) was performed after its completion. Generalized Linear Models with a Generalized Estimating Equations extension was used to estimate the impact of the number of covariates on knowledge of course participants, taking into consideration the correlation between before- and after-course results. An increase in the knowledge of the participants of the investigated course on children’s nutritional standards was significant and reached 2.053 points on average. No relationship between age, job position, and knowledge level was determined. In the area of principles of proper nutrition for children, older participants had a lower level of knowledge compared to younger ones, and participants with higher education showed a significantly higher knowledge increase as compared to those with vocational education. A significant knowledge increase in the field of dietary behaviors of children was obtained during the course by all examined women, 1.6 points on average (p < 0.001). Younger participants obtained significantly more knowledge from the course than older ones (p < 0.001). Thus, it can be concluded that realization of the course entitled “Diet full of life” specifically relating to young children’s nutrition affected a significant increase in participant knowledge, particularly among the younger age groups and people with higher education. Kindergarten employees need constant supplemental education in the form of training courses, during which they acquire actual knowledge given in an accessible manner for use in practice. The proper assessment of the supplemental education course presented herein, as well as of the course participants, was performed using General Estimating Equations.
Agnieszka Genowska, Jacek Jamiołkowski, Magdalena Zalewska, Ewa Rodakowska, Kamila Kurpiewska, Andrzej Szpak and Elżbieta Maciorkowska
The youngest population in society is recognized as that at the healthiest stage of life but is burdened by the occurrence of premature death that should be avoidable. There is a need to use adequate statistical methods in assessing the health status of the population of developmental age. The aim of the study was to analyze trends of mortality in children and adolescents by age and gender in the Podlaskie Voivodeship in the years 2003-2012 by joinpoint regression and to identify the causes of mortality. The mortality rate was analysed according to gender and the age groups: 0, 1-4, 5-9, 10-14 and 15-19 years in the Podlaskie Voivodeship. The data were obtained from the Central Statistical Office for the period 2003-2012. Differences in mortality levels between age and gender subgroups were obtained by the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Join- point regression was used to analyze the trends in mortality. The nomenclature of ICD-10 was used to assess the causes of mortality of children and adolescents. In the Podlaskie Voivodeship in the years 2003-2012 in the 0-19-year-old age group, the highest proportion of deaths (42.4%) occurred during the first year of life. There were differences in mortality rates between boys (8.0/104) and girls (3.1/104) in the 15-19-year-old age group (p < 0.01), and also between the 1-14-year-old and 15-19-year-old age groups (p < 0.01), both among boys (2.1/104 vs. 8.0/104) and girls (1.5/104 vs. 3.1/104). Monotonous trends were shown regarding total mortality rates in infants. There was a drop in the mortality rate of infant girls (AAPC = 5.3%, p < 0.05) and boys (AAPC = 4.7%, p < 0.05). Changes in the direction of the total mortality rate trend were visible in the population of boys aged 1-14 years, in which, between 2003 and 2010, a significant reduction in mortality (AAPC = 9.5%) was observed, while in the years 2010-2012 the trend was not significant. No statistical evidence was found that mortality changed among girls in the 1-14-year-old and 15-19-year-old age groups. Deaths in infancy were due to perinatal conditions and congenital mal- formations. The main causes of mortality in the 1-19-year-old age group were external causes, mainly traffic accidents and intentional self-harm. Joinpoint regression indicated a uniform decrease of mortality in the years 2003-2012 except for boys from 1-14 years old, for whom the decreasing trend was for the years 2003-2010 with subsequent stabilization. The main problems are still infant deaths due to perinatal conditions, traffic accidents and intentional self-harm in boys in the 15-19-year-old age group.
Magdalena Zalewska, Agnieszka Genowska, Jacek Jamiołkowski, Rafał Nowak, Andrzej Szpak and Elżbieta Maciorkowska
Physical activity, along with proper nutrition, is a very important element in child development. Lack of everyday, regular physical activity among young people is a public health problem. The aim of the study was to use cluster analysis to assess the relationship between nutrition and physical activity levels of primary school children. The study included 682 students from randomly selected elementary schools and was performed using a proprietary questionnaire during the 2013/2014 school year. The questionnaire contained questions about eating habits and physical activity, as well as the socio-economic conditions of families. Clusters of students of similar dietary habits were identified using cluster analysis and subsequently compared in terms of physical activity level. We identified four clusters, characterized by relative internal homogeneity and at the same time variability between one another in terms of number of meals throughout the day and time of their consumption. The most important characteristic of Cluster 1 was eating four meals a day including breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day. The diets of children in Cluster 2 abounded with raw vegetables and fruits. Students in Cluster 3 were characterized by a regular and varied diet. The least appropriate behaviour in the field of nutrition was observed among students belonging to Cluster 4. Cluster analysis in the studied population allowed relationships between dietary habits and physical activity to be described. By using the UIAF indicator (Moderate to Intense Physical Activity), a statistically significant association between the eating habits of the children and their physical activity levels was observed. A sufficient level of physical activity was observed in most students belonging to Cluster 3, and high levels of physical activity were observed in a small percentage of children belonging Cluster 4. An average level of physical activity was observed in a high percentage of children belonging to Cluster 4. Low levels of physical activity were most frequently observed in Clusters 4 and 1 and least frequently observed in Cluster 3. All of the identified active forms of free-time activity were most commonly acknowledged in Cluster 3. The study supports a beneficial relationship between students’ eating behaviours and physical activity.