Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of
Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and Associations with Indicators of Body Fat, Diet, and Physical Activity in U.S. Children Ages 6-11
Date of this Version
Research was conducted to determine the prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors in U.S. children ages 6-11 and associations with body fat, diet, and physical activity. Data for 685 children ages 6-11 was obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). NHANES data was examined to determine the prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors in these children, the impact of indicators of body fat on cardiovascular disease risk factors, the association between cardiovascular disease risk factors and dietary components, and the relationship between physical activity and cardiovascular disease risk factors among U.S. children. Children were also evaluated for overweight and obesity based on four obesity anthropometric measurements: weight, body mass index, triceps skinfold, and subscapular skinfold. Approximately 36 percent of all children were either overweight or obese according to body mass index and 39 percent of all children had at least one unfavorable cardiometabolic marker. As body fat increased in the children, the prevalence of unfavorable cardiometabolic markers increased. Minimal significant associations were found between nutrient intakes and cardiovascular disease risk factors or indicators of body fat. No significant associations were found between physical activity and cardiovascular disease risk factors or indicators of body fat. In conclusion, diet and physical activity did not appear to have a direct impact on cardiovascular health or body fat in children. However, body fatness appears to negatively affect cardiovascular health in this sample, increasing the prevalence of unfavorable cardiometabolic markers.
A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science Major: Nutrition and Health Sciences Under the Supervision of Professor Kaye Stanek Krogstrand Lincoln, Nebraska, July, 2010. Copyright 2010. Melissa A Masters