Variations of body composition, physical activity and caloric intake in schoolchildren during national holidays

Carlos Cristi-Montero, Cristian Munizaga, Constanza Tejos, Raquel Ayala, Raúl Henríquez, Patricio Solís-Urra, Fernando Rodríguez-Rodríguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Abstract: Scientific literature has described that a significant body weight increase in schoolchildren occurs during some holiday periods (summer, winter, and thanksgiving holidays), harming their health. In this regard, it is thought that this phenomenon is mainly due to changes in eating habits and the variation in levels of physical activity; however, this approach has not yet been explored during national holidays (NAH) in Chile. Purpose: To determine any changes in body composition, physical activity and caloric intake during NAH. Methods: A total of 46 schoolchildren (24 boys, age 10.5 ± 0.5; BMI 21.7 ± 4.7) participated. Measurements were performed 2 days before and after the NAH (9 days). Weight was measured and fat percentage was established using the Slaughter formula. Levels of physical activity were measured with accelerometers, validating 3 weekdays and 1 weekend; caloric intake was established through a 24-h recall. Results: Weight, percentage of fat and caloric intake increased significantly (250 g, 2.2 % and 733.3 kcal, respectively; p < 0.05); however, none of the variables of physical activity showed significant changes. Conclusion: The change in caloric intake seems to be the main cause of weight and fat gain during the NAH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-255
Number of pages5
JournalEating and Weight Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • Body weight
  • Diet
  • Fat mass
  • Physical activity


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