Previous studies have focused on a single nutrient’s relationship with disease and thus are unable to strongly support the health claims of a balanced diet. This article explores the integrated effect of nine nutrients on an individual’s physical fitness level. Two-day dietary records and physical fitness assessments were collected in three primary schools. Cluster analysis allowed compliance with nutrient recommendations to be compared among groups of primary school students with different characteristics. Two clusters were identified statistically. Cluster B, which comprised more schoolchildren at the ‘Good’ and ‘Pass’ levels and fewer at the ‘Excellent’ level, had significantly more participants who met the guidelines for total fat, saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol, compared with Cluster A. This finding reveals the benefits of a balanced diet, with physical fitness level as the outcome measure. The results also have implications for approaching health problems from the diet—fitness perspective rather than the obesity—disease perspective. Copyright © 2010 by Association of British Pediatric Nurses.
CitationChung, L., Wong, T., & Chung, J. W. Y. (2010). Importance of a balanced diet on the physical fitness level of schoolchildren aged 6-12. Journal of Child Health Care, 14(3), 280-295.
- Child health
- Clinical guidelines