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Eating patterns and aggressive behaviour of schoolchildren in Morocco
  1. A Soualem,
  2. A Ahami,
  3. Y Aboussaleh*
  1. Correspondence Ibn Tofail University, POB 133, Kenitra 14000, Morocco

Abstract

This epidemiological study was realised to investigate the determinants of schoolchilden eating behaviour. One regional and two local school samples were selected in the province of Kenitra North Western of Morocco among schoolchildren aged 8–16 years.

Methods The main variables of interest were based on two types of evaluations. The first set is a psychological, behavioural and cognitive one. The second was based on anthropometric measurement (weight and size), a 24 h food recall, measurement of blood pressure and haemoglobin, serum ferritin and serum iron levels.

Results Anthropometric information revealed in the regional sample 9.7% of overweight and 18% of underweight. A stunting prevalence was 17%. This study also revealed that 23.6% of children have attention deficit, 20% hyperactivity disorder and 10.6% reading or writing disorder. The local study revealed that 19.1% of schoolchildren were aggressive. This aggressive behaviour is related to reading and writing disorders and low academic performance. Food consumption pattern promotes the use of sweets in the street.

Conclusion Eating behaviour is modulated by cognitive, psychological, behavioural and nutritional factors. It appears that some eating disorders can be an issue of emotional disturbances in children and adults. These disorders caused by stressful emotionally troubled environment or mood disturbance. A cognitive deficits in particular caused by iron deficiency increase risk for disturbance balance leading to problems of environmental maladjustment.

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