Profiling physical activity, diet, screen and sleep habits in Portuguese children

Nutrients. 2015 Jun 2;7(6):4345-62. doi: 10.3390/nu7064345.


Obesity in children is partly due to unhealthy lifestyle behaviours, e.g., sedentary activity and poor dietary choices. This trend has been seen globally. To determine the extent of these behaviours in a Portuguese population of children, 686 children 9.5 to 10.5 years of age were studied. Our aims were to: (1) describe profiles of children's lifestyle behaviours; (2) identify behaviour pattern classes; and (3) estimate combined effects of individual/ socio-demographic characteristics in predicting class membership. Physical activity and sleep time were estimated by 24-h accelerometry. Nutritional habits, screen time and socio-demographics were obtained. Latent Class Analysis was used to determine unhealthy lifestyle behaviours. Logistic regression analysis predicted class membership. About 78% of children had three or more unhealthy lifestyle behaviours, while 0.2% presented no risk. Two classes were identified: Class 1-Sedentary, poorer diet quality; and Class 2-Insufficiently active, better diet quality, 35% and 65% of the population, respectively. More mature children (Odds Ratio (OR) = 6.75; 95%CI = 4.74-10.41), and boys (OR = 3.06; 95% CI = 1.98-4.72) were more likely to be overweight/obese. However, those belonging to Class 2 were less likely to be overweight/obese (OR = 0.60; 95% CI = 0.43-0.84). Maternal education level and household income did not significantly predict weight status (p ≥ 0.05).

Keywords: ISCOLE; latent classes; unhealthy lifestyle behaviours; youth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Choice Behavior
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Pediatric Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Portugal / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Sleep*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Television
  • Video Games