Sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits in childhood:a cohort study

Cien Saude Colet. 2016 Apr;21(4):1051-9. doi: 10.1590/1413-81232015214.08032015.


Worldwide, about 22 million children under five years old are overweight. Environmental factors are the main trigger for this epidemic. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the eating and physical activity habits in a cohort of eight-year-old children in Pelotas, Brazil. Eating habits were assessed based on the Ten Steps to Healthy Eating proposed by the Ministry of Health. To assess the level of physical activity, the physical activity questionnaire for children and adolescents (PAQ-C) was used. Of the 616 interviewed children at 8 years, it was observed that 50.3% were male; 70.3% were white and just over half belonged to economic class C. None of the children were classified as very active and none acceded to a daily consumption of six servings of the cereals, tubers, and roots. The steps that had higher adhesion were 8 (do not add salt to ready foods); 4 (consumption of beans, at least 5 times per week) and 1 (have 3 meals and 2 snacks per day), respectively. The high prevalence of physical inactivity and low level of healthy eating habits confirm the importance of strategies to support and encourage the practice of physical activity and healthy eating among youth.

MeSH terms

  • Brazil
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Food Preferences*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Overweight*
  • Sedentary Behavior*