EDUCATION AND GLOBALIZATION: A RESEARCH OF FOOD CONSUMPTION AND OBESITY WITH CHILDREN FROM LOW AND HIGH HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX AREAS
Estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) show that over the past 30 years obesity in Brazil has risen from 3% to 15%, levels of an endemic disease. The goal of this work was to evaluate the food intake of children between age 9 and 12 from public and private schools, located in two districts of Ilha do Governador, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with different Human Development Index. Data consisted of dietary anamneses of 24 hours (R24h) performed by 164 children of both sexes, compilation of their food consumption for three days (one day during the weekend and the other two during the week) with the children listing which food and quantity consumed and calculation of the Body Mass Index (BMI). We analyzed whether the food intake complied with that proposed by the Dietary Reference Intake (DRIs) and determined whether the BMI of these children meet the standards suggested by WHO. The data were analyzed using the programs Food Processor and SPSS 18. Total protein, carbohydrates, fats, calcium and fiber present in the children diets were analyzed. We observed that 96% of children from low HDI areas and 98% from high HDI areas had an adequate intake of protein. With regards to carbohydrates, 53% of children of low HDI and 51% of high HDI had an adequate consumption. A significant difference was observed in the consumption of lipids with 45% of the children with low HDI and 38% for high HDI having an adequate intake of lipids. For fiber intake, it was observed that only 25% of children with a low HDI and 39% with a high HDI consumed high levels of fiber. With respect to calcium, all of the children analyzed showed inadequate quantities. A separate analysis of each macronutrient suggested that the consumption of proteins within that population was appropriate, approximately half had a proper consumption of carbohydrates, but for fats, calcium and fiber, the consumption was below 50% of the daily requirements. From the calculated BMI, 69% of children with a low HDI were of normal weight, 7% underweight and 24% overweight; those with a high HDI, 60% were of normal weight, 5% underweight and 35% overweight. The analysis of macronutrients showed that only protein consumption was in accordance with the standards required for this age group. According to the HDI, the differences in consumption of these macronutrients were not significant between these populations. The fiber consumption presents the highest difference, which was 14% between the two populations with children with the lowest HDI consuming the least amount of fiber. Another important aspect to be highlighted was the inadequate amount of calcium consumed by the two groups. The BMI measurements showed a nearly a quarter of the low HDI children as overweight and more than a third of the high HDI children. The data show that small differences in food intact can alter the proportion of overweight children. We strongly suggest that we raise children’s awareness about healthy eating to reverse the trend of increased obesity, not only in Brazil, but also throughout the world. Schools can and must contribute to the awareness of healthy eating and thus the growth of healthier children and adults who are concerned about the individual and collective health.