The Effect of Nutritional Status on the Physical Aptitude and Cardiovascular Profiles of School Children in Urban and Rural Areas of the Center Region of Cameroon
Keywords:Nutritional status, Physical aptitude, cardiovascular profile, urban area, rural area
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of nutritional status on the physical aptitude and cardiovascular profiles of school children in urban areas of the center region of Cameroon. The study design was that of experimental model. 747 children, 384 males (51.4%) and 363 females (48.6%) took part in the study. Data was collected by determining the Body Mass Index (BMI) to assess the nutritional status of the children. Systolic blood pressure (SBP), Diastolic blood pressure (DBP), Heart rate (HR) was obtained as cardiovascular parameters while some conventional physical tests were conducted for physical aptitudes of the children. Applying descriptive (mean scores and standard deviation) and inferential (Independent T-test) statistics to analyzed data, the results revealed the following: Firstly, in the normal nourished population, mean SBP, DBP and HR was higher and statistically significant in urban area than in rural area as shown in the student test (t=12.63, P˂0.0001), (t=12.46, P˂0.0001) and (t=7.981, P˂0.0001) respectively. Secondly, with respect to age, we observed a significant difference (p<0.001) of SBP and DBP in the 6-10 years and >10years age group categories. The mean VO2 max (ml.g-1) in the >10 years age category was higher than that in the category of 6-10 years with a high statistical significance (t=8.059, P˂0.001). Still in the same population, the mean 30m dash(s) was higher in rural areas than urban areas with a good significance difference (t=2.999, P=0.0030). Lastly, the mean broad jump was highly significantly (t=10.34, P˂0.0001) higher in rural areas than in urban areas. In conclusion, we could deduce that nutritional status dan impact on the physical aptitude and cardiovascular profiles of school children in the urban and rural areas of the center Region of Cameroon. The fundamental recommendation was the need for the government to ensure a frequent systematic control of the cardiovascular profile of children in our school milieu in order to avoid sudden emergencies at adult ages.