Hygiene and Eating Healthy Habits and Practices in Spanish Families with Children Aged 6 to 14

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Nov 22;17(22):8671. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17228671.

Abstract

During childhood and pre-adolescence, the family environment is key to initiating and consolidating healthy styles in children through a balanced diet and basic hygiene habits. This study analyses hygiene, nutrition and health practices in Spanish families with children between 6 and 14 years of age according to the type of family (nuclear, single-parent or reconstituted) and the quantity, age and gender of the children. A representative Spanish national sample of 1103 Spanish parents, 270 fathers and 833 mothers, with children aged 6 to 14, is analysed. The study is descriptive, using statistical techniques with classic indicators (means, percentages). The results show that nuclear families manifest healthier habits, in general, and consider the consumption of pastries, ultra-processed food and excessive amounts of salt to be harmful. Furthermore, this family typology develops healthy and hygienic habits, such as brushing teeth daily, sleeping at least 8 h a day, drinking a glass of milk a day, eating fish more than once a week and eating fast food sporadically. They are also concerned about their children's annual medical check-ups (paediatrician and dentist). It is concluded that the family type is related to the hygiene and feeding habits of the children.

Keywords: adolescence; childhood; eating; family typology; hygiene habits.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Habits
  • Humans
  • Hygiene*
  • Male
  • Mothers*
  • Nutritional Status