Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Comparative Study of Lifestyle: Eating Habits, Sedentary Lifestyle and Anthropometric Development in Spanish 5- to 15-Yr-Olds

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Comparative Study of Lifestyle: Eating Habits, Sedentary Lifestyle and Anthropometric Development in Spanish 5- to 15-Yr-Olds

Article excerpt


Lifestyles are considered to interact between life conditions and individual patterns of conduct, which are determined by socio-cultural factors and individuals' personal characteristics, according to WHO (1). These factors include conducts and preferences related with food types, physical activity, recreational activities and consumption patterns (2). Living an inadequate lifestyle in infancy can favour increased body weight, which, in recent years, has been related with a higher over-weight and obesity prevalence (3). The enKid study (1998-2000) respectively reported a prevalence of 13.9% and 12.4% for obesity and being overweight in Spanish children, with obesity being higher in males (15.6%) than in females (12%), and if this trend continues, an overall level of 9.1% will be reached by 2020 (4). A balanced diet in childhood and adolescence is crucial for well-being and growth, but also for establishing dietary habits that will persist later in life (5). The nutrition transition, associated with rapid demographic and socio-economic change, has increased the risk of obesity in childhood, as excessive intake of refined foods with high concentrations of sugars, fats and energy, and low intake of fibre, pulses, fruit and vegetables (6). This change inevitably affect choice of processed foods, mainly of animal origin, which means loss of traditional eating patterns, and increased use of technology, which encourages sedentary activity (7, 8). In Spain, the Mediterranean diet is characterised for a wide variety of foods and nutrients that reduce morbidity and mortality (9), and for lowering the prevalence of processes related to cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and metabolic syndrome, among other (10-12). Breakfast is considered one of the most important meals of the day as it has an impact on general health and academic performance (13). In Spain, 10-15% of children do not eat breakfast before school, or 20-30% does not eat full breakfast (14).

The term sedentary lifestyle is used to characterise reduced energy expenditure through lack of or reduced physical activity, and is associated with substantial health consequences (15). It is also linked with modern society lifestyles, which have drifted towards sedentary habits that are more harmful for health (16). New media technologies, such as television (TV), computers and games consoles, have provided new opportunities for sedentary activity (17). The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends removing TV sets from children's bedrooms and not spending more than 2 hours/day on sedentary activities (18).

This study aimed to evaluate the factors that influence lifestyle by centring on diet quality and sedentary activities by assessing the causes and effects they have on Spanish 5- to 15-year olds' anthropometry for the two periods corresponding to the last two Spanish National Health Surveys (ENSE; 2006 and 2013).

Material and Methods

Study design

To conduct this study, Spanish National Health Surveys (ENSE) data were used from two the last time points, 2006 and 2013 (carried out by the Spanish National Statistics Institute (INE) with the collaboration of the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality). The sample sizes of these surveys were 9,122 and 5,495 Spanish 5- to 15-year-old in 2006 and 2013, respectively. Both surveys included a 1-year data collection, and both gender-stratified periods were compared. This study was cross-sectional and employed self-referral data.

Sample design

The ENSE sample design is a three-stage stratified kind divided into three stages: a) the units from the first stage are the census sections grouped into strata according to the size of the town they belong to; b) the units from the second stage are the main family homes from each section selected for the sample; and c) the units in the third stage are selected from the list of the survey able people at home when the interview was held (19, 20). …

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