Associations between Screen-Based Activities, Physical Activity, and Dietary Habits in Mexican Schoolchildren

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jun 24;18(13):6788. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18136788.


Screen-based activities are associated with increased risk of obesity and contribute to physical inactivity and poor dietary habits. The primary aim of this study was to examine the associations among screen-based activities, physical activity, and dietary habits in school-aged children in Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, and Mexico City, Mexico. The secondary aim was to examine these associations across sex. The School Physical Activity and Nutrition survey was used to assess screen-based activities (TV watching, video game use, computer use), physical activity, and dietary habits. Organized activity/sports participation, unhealthy dietary habits, and household income were correlated with screen-based activities. While TV watching was associated with decreased participation in organized activity/sports participation, computer and video game use was associated with increased organized activity/sports participation. Boys engaged in more TV watching and video game use compared to girls. All screen-based activities were associated with age among boys; whereas video game and computer use were associated with higher income among girls. These findings suggest a need for sex- and age-specific strategies that acknowledge the differential use of screen-based activities across sex and age. Future research should continue to identify underlying correlates linking screen-based activities with health behaviors to inform strategies to reduce screen-time in Mexican children.

Keywords: Hispanic; children; diet; physical activity; screen time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Exercise
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexico
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Television*
  • Video Games*