Body fat, physical activity, and dietary patterns of adolescents in a mountainous region of Santa Catarina state, Brazil

Edson Luis Machado de Arruda, Adair da Silva Lopes


The objective of the present study was to analyze the body fat, physical activity, and dietary patterns of male adolescents in a mountainous region of Santa Catarina state, Brazil. The subjects were 1,024 adolescents, 10 to 17 years old, from public and private schools. The sample was selected by a three-stage cluster sampling method, where the laststage sampling units were entire classes. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was determined considering body fat level estimated using predictive equations. Physical activity and food intake were assessed using a questionnaire. Statistical analyses included: descriptive statistics, Chi-square test, and one-way ANOVA with Scheffé post hoc multiple comparisons. It was observed that 25.6% of the adolescents were overweight or obese and 29.4% were physically inactive. Regarding dietary patterns, subjects reported the following consumption levels of sugars and fats: soft drinks (36.9%), sweets (41.3%), and fries (29.1%). In general, there were no differences in activity patterns, diet, or body fatness between age groups (10-17 years). Adolescents enrolled at private schools exhibited higher body fatness (p<.001), less physical activity (p<.05), poorer dietary habits (high consumption of fries, soft drinks, sweets, high fat foods, and low consumption of vegetables; p<.05) than adolescents at public schools. Approximately one in four adolescents in the mountainous region exhibited excess body fat and insufficient physical activity. Poor dietary habits were observed in one out of three adolescents. In general, adolescent students at private schools had more body fat, less activity, and poorer dietary habits than those attending public schools.


Obesidade; Composição corporal; Ingestão de alimentos; Atividade física. <p> Physical activity; Body composition; Food intake; Obesity


The abbreviated title of the journal is Rev. Bras. Cineantropom. Desempenho Hum, which should be used in bibliographies, footnotes and bibliographical references. E-ISSN 1980-0037, impressa ISSN 1415-8426, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.