Background. This study evaluated the difference between boys and girls in terms of nutritional status, lifestyle, and dietary habits during school life.

Materials and Methods. A descriptive and observational study was conducted in 2016, in which 251 children, aged 7-17, from 3 elementary schools and a high school inBucharest,Romania, were evaluated. A questionnaire was used to assess food behavior, eating, and lifestyle habits.

Results. Boys had a significantly higher waist circumference (71.18±9) than girls (67.46±9.91) (p=0.004). Thus 27% of boys were overweight or obese compared with only 22% of the girls. Differences were also seen between the two groups in terms of main meals and snacks and following a rhythm of meals: a statistically significant percentage of girls (36.3%) skip breakfast, while most boys (63.8%) take a food package to school. A total of 23.8% of the boys and 24% of the girls state that they eat while sitting in front of the computer or TV.

Conclusions. We found that boys are more overweight or obese than girls. Obesity in the pediatric population of Romania could be explained by the country’s emergence from communism 25 years ago, pattern typical of all Eastern European countries and which currently involve an overexposure of people to fast food, fizzy drinks and sweets, as well as to a high consumption of salt and food additives. Unbalanced and highly caloric food had been preferable to healthy food in the last period. Leisure time is rather spent in front of the TV, tablet, detrimental to rational physical exercise, recreational sports or hiking. The family environment is very important and all our actions should be focused on continuous education about the risks of unhealthy food and a sedentary lifestyle.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.