Objective: To evaluate weight, dietary patterns and exercise habits in children attending the first year of primary school in the city of Granollers (Spain).
Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study of children enrolled in the schools of the city of Granollers. All the children were born in 2000. Data were collected from September to October 2006. Weight and height were measured in each schoolchild. The parents completed a questionnaire on the frequency of food intake and physical activity and the Krece Plus test. The International Obesity Task Force cut-offs for body mass index were used to define overweight and obesity.
Results: A total of 566 schoolchildren were included. The prevalence of overweight was 19.6% and that of obesity was 8.5%. Only 3.8% of the children had an adequate breakfast and 17.1% ate five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Some families consumed a low amount of fruit (22%), vegetables (37%), bread/pasta/ rice/cereals (14%), fish (32%), legumes (13%) and nuts (9%). Children who had lunch at school ate more fruits (38% vs 29%), vegetables (35% vs 25%) and fish (82% vs 73%) than those who did not have lunch at school. A total of 82% of the schoolchildren exercised regularly.
Conclusions: A quarter of the children who participated in the study were overweight. The schoolchildren who had lunch at school had better dietary patterns. Inappropriate family habits can determine children's dietary habits.