Authors: Roxana Maria Martin-Hadmaș1, Ștefan Adrian Martin2, Adela Romonți1, Mărginean Oana3
1 Community Nutrition and Food Safety Department, “George Emil Palade” University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Science, and Technology of Targu Mures, Romania;
2 Physiology Department, “George Emil Palade” University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Science, and Technology of Targu Mures, Romania;
3 Pediatrics I Department, “George Emil Palade” University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Science, and Technology of Targu Mures, Romania
Background. Malnutrition in children is bound to an imbalanced food intake. A negative energy intake can lead to improper anthropometric changes.
Aims. The aim of the study is to analyze the protein intake and the main food groups in preschool children to identify the possible food-related causes that favor changes in the weight and/or height-growing rate.
Methods. The study protocol included a transversal and observational assessment held between March and September 2019. The sample comprised 207 subjects, which were divided into two groups depending on their anthropometric development and the BMI for age Z score. Daily food intake was assessed by using an accurate feeding log obtained from the subjects’ legal guardian.
Results. A reduced protein intake was associated with a deficient body height growth, as seen in both G1 (p=0.048, r=0.254) and G2 study samples (p=0.004, r=0.399). In the underweight sample (G2), protein intake was related to age (p=0.024, r=0.317), body weight (p=0.001, r=0.452) and the consumption of fruit juice (p=0.001, r=-0.428). The changes in body mass index were related to the meat food products in the normal weight subjects (p=0.040, r=0.187) and to the cereal products in the underweight subjects (p=0.0007, r=-0.385).
Conclusions. The lack of protein intake is associated with changes in anthropometry development, especially with a drop in the height growth rate.
Key words: height growth rate, malnutrition, food intake, proteinPDF Embedder requires a url attribute