Fruit and vegetable consumption, leisure-time physical activity, and sedentary behavior among children and adolescent students in Uganda
Ndagire, Catherine T.
Muyonga, John H.
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Introduction: Fruit and vegetable (FV) intake and participation in leisure-time physical activity (PA) and in sedentary behavior in accordance with the recommendations are met in a minority of populations including children and adolescents. Objective: To describe the frequency of FV intake, leisure-time PA, and sedentary behavior, assess compliance with international recommendations, and how selected factors are associated with these recommendations. Methods: The FV consumption and PA questionnaire items previously assessed for reliability in a Ugandan setting were used to gather information about FV consumption, PA, and sedentary behavior among 621 children and adolescents attending schools in Kampala Uganda. The results of FV consumption and PA were categorized as adequate or inadequate while sedentary behavior was categorized as adequate or excess. The relationship between FV consumption, PA, and sedentary behavior with selected independent variables was verified by chi-square test statistic. Results: Half of the participants (50%) reported inadequate fruit consumption, and 76% of them reported inadequate vegetable consumption. More children (68%) than young adolescents (52%) and older adolescents (44%) met their daily recommendation for fruit consumption. A similar trend was observed for vegetable consumption. Adequacy of FV intake was significantly associated with participant’s age, level of education, school ownership, and type of school. Less of 8-to 17-year- olds (14%) than 18 years and above olds (41%) met their weekly recommendation for leisure-time PA. Majority of participants (54%) participated in acceptable levels of sedentary behaviors. Leisure-time PA was significantly associated with age category and school ownership while sedentary behavior was significantly associated with participant’s age and education level. Conclusions: The intake of FV and participation in leisure-time PA was not adequate in the study population. A significant proportion of participants engaged in excess sedentary behavior. Developing and implementing strategies to increase FV intake and PA among children and adolescents in schools should be a national priority.