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Pediatría (Asunción)

On-line version ISSN 1683-9803


RUIZ, Synthia; MESQUITA, Mirta  and  SANCHEZ, Susana. Physical activity and nutritional status in adolescents aged 9 to 15 years in an educational institution in San Lorenzo, Paraguay. Pediatr. (Asunción) [online]. 2017, vol.44, n.2, pp.111-116. ISSN 1683-9803.


Risk factors for being overweight and obesity in children and adolescents are multifactorial. Lack of physical activity and sedentary behaviors have been considered important risk factors.


To establish the association between physical activity, as measured by the questionnaire of the Chilean Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), and the nutritional status of adolescents aged 9 to 15 years, in a public educational institution .

Materials and Methods:

This was an observational, descriptive, cross-sectional, prospective study with an analytical component. Adolescents aged 9 to 15 years old from a public school in the city of San Lorenzo, Paraguay, were included. The study was conducted between September 14 and 16, 2015. The variables studied were: age, sex, body mass index (BMI) and physical activity. To determine the nutritional status, the Anthro Plus software was used to calculate the Z score of the World Health Organization (WHO). Physical activity was determined using the Chilean INTA questionnaire.


A total of 465 adolescents with a mean age of 11.7 ± 1.8 years were included. 57, 2% were girls and 42.8% were boys. The group with physical activity was 55.9%. In the group of low physical activity, the percentage of overweight and obesity was 46.3 and 23.6% respectively, compared with 3.1% and 0.8%, respectively, in the group of adolescents with physical activity (p <0 , 0005).


Adolescents with low physical activity had significantly higher rates of being overweight and obesity, compared to the group that performed physical activity.

Keywords : Physical activity; adolescents; nutritional status..

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