Parental Education and Living Environmental Influence on Physical Development, Nutritional Habits as well as Level of Physical Activity in Polish Children and Adolescents
The aim of this work was to evaluate the physical development and nutritional status, the nutrition habits as well as level of physical activity of boys and girls in relation to the socio-economic status of their families. The study was conducted on a group of 529 boys and 535 girls aged 7-16 years from Świętokrzyskie Province in Poland. Boys and girls from high SES families had the greatest body height, BMI, upper arm muscle area, as well as upper arm fat tissue area, while the lowest values of these features occurred among those studied coming from families of a low SES. The higher the family SES, the higher habitual frequency of consuming vegetables and fruit as well as fish. The diet of children coming from higher SES families was also linked with a higher total protein content as well as animal protein, all analysed minerals and some vitamins, but there were no significant differences of energetic value in daily food rations as well as fat content. The longer time spent on some sedentary activities was connected with a higher family SES. The girls coming from a high status families also declared a higher level of physical activity, whereas such relationship was not observed among boys. A more rational set of nutritional habits observed among children from a higher SES families can be the basic reason for their higher advancement in development. A shorter time devoted to sedentary activities is assumed to be the main cause of a smaller relative body mass and less obesity among girls and boys from low SES families.