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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611

Nutr. Hosp. vol.32 n.1 Madrid Jul. 2015 

ORIGINAL / Deporte y ejercicio


Anthropometric characteristics and physical fitness level in relation to body weight status in Chilean preschool children

Características antropométricas y nivel de condición física en relación con el estado ponderal en niños chilenos de edad preescolar



Cristina Cadenas-Sánchez1, Enrique G. Artero2, Fernando Concha3, Bárbara Leyton3 and Juliana Kain3

1PROFITH "PROmoting FITness and Health through physical activity" research group. Department of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Spain.
2Department of Education, Area of Physical Education and Sport, University of Almería, Almería, Spain.
3Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.




The purpose of this study was to describe anthropometric and physical fitness characteristics of low-income Chilean preschool children and to examine whether weight status influences childrenfs performance on fitness tests. A total of 434 preschool children (246 boys; 5.48 ± 0.31 years) participated in our study. Anthropometry (weight, height, body mass index -BMI- and waist circumference) and fitness tests (handgrip strength test, standing long jump and 20 m sprint) were assessed by trained nutritionists and physical education teachers, respectively. Significant differences in anthropometry and fitness tests between boys and girls were found. The prevalence of overweight was higher in girls; in contrast to that of obesity. Compared to normal-weight children, overweight/obese boys and girls were heavier and had greater waist circumference (P<0.001), were taller (P≤0.002), and showed higher performance in handgrip strength (P≤0.027) but not in standing long jump nor 20 m sprint (P≥0.052). Screening physical fitness levels in overweight/obese preschool children could be an important tool in order to design an efficacy physical activity programme.

Key words: BMI. Overweight. Muscular strength. Speed. Preschoolers.


El objetivo de este estudio fue describir las caracteristicas antropometricas y el nivel de condicion fisica de preescolares chilenos de bajo nivel socioeconomico y examinar si el estado ponderal influye en el rendimiento de los ninos en las pruebas de condicion fisica. Un total de 434 preescolares (246 ninos; 5,48 ± 0,31 años) participaron en nuestro estudio. Antropometria (peso, talla, indice de masa corporal -IMC- y perimetro de cintura) y tests de condicion fisica (test de fuerza de prension manual, test de salto de longitud y 20 m sprint) fueron evaluados por nutricionistas entrenados y profesores de educacion fisica, respectivamente. Se encontraron diferencias significativas en antropometria y tests de condicion fisica entre ninos y ninas. La prevalencia de sobrepeso fue mayor en las ninas; en contraste con la de la obesidad. En comparacion con los preescolares con normopeso, los ninos y ninas con sobrepeso/obesidad pesaron mas y tuvieron mayor perimetro de cintura (P<0.001), eran mas altos (P≤0.002) y mostraron mayor rendimiento en el test de fuerza de prension manual (P≤0.027), pero no en el test de salto de longitud ni en el test de sprint de 20 m (P≥0.052). Detectar los niveles de condicion fisica en preescolares con sobrepeso/obesidad puede ser una herramienta importante para disenar programas eficaces de actividad fisica.

Palabras clave: IMC. Sobrepeso. Fuerza muscular. Velocidad. Preescolares.

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