Send to

Choose Destination
West Indian Med J. 2015 Jan;64(1):29-36. doi: 10.7727/wimj.2015.111. Epub 2015 Apr 28.

Nutritional Knowledge and Practices, Lifestyle Characteristics and Anthropometric Status of Turks and Caicos Islands Elementary School Children.

Author information

National Epidemiology and Research Unit, Ministry of Health and Human Services, Turks and Caicos Islands.
National Epidemiology and Research Unit, Ministry of Health and Human Services, Turks and Caicos Islands.



To assess nutritional status, knowledge, practices and lifestyle characteristics of Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) primary school children.


Sociodemographic, nutrition knowledge and lifestyle information were collected via an interviewer-assisted questionnaire from grade 5 to 6 participants in a cross-sectional survey; anthropometrics were collected by trained interviewers.


Two hundred and ninety-seven students (mean age = 10.91 ± 1.01 years; female = 162 [54.5%]; overweight/obese = 121 [40.8%]) participated. Most were born (61.8%) or resided in TCI for more than five years (76.1%). Dietary patterns of breakfast (75.8%); ≥ 2 meals/day (81.2%); ≥ 1 snack/day (65%) and consumption of vegetables (14.5%) and fruits (27.3%) ≥ 2/day were reported. Multinomial regression examined lifestyle and sociodemographic characteristics among body mass index (BMI) categories. Breakfast-eaters were 54% less likely (OR = 0.46; p = 0.025) to be obese; consumers of < 3 meals/day were approximately twice more likely to be obese (OR = 2.074; p = 0.02); participants who "ate out" < 2 times/day (including lunch) were less likely to be overweight (OR = 0.365; p = 0.02). More boys reported strenuous activity (p = 0.05) while more girls reported moderate activity (p = 0.004). No vigorous exercise for ≥ 4 days/week was associated with obesity (OR = 2.0; p = 0.03). Most (> 80%) knew the food groups and that non-communicable diseases were related to diet and obesity (> 70%).


Findings should inform policy, via the "Health in All" policy initiatives, to develop multisectoral interventions to positively impact children's nutritional status and ultimately eliminate obesogenic environments.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for The University of the West Indies Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center