Poor dietary habits in Greek schoolchildren are strongly associated with screen time: results from the EYZHN (National Action for Children’s Health) Program Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:To investigate adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) and the relationship between MD and lifestyle factors in a representative sample of Greek school children. SUBJECTS/METHODS:The data derived from 232,401 (51% boys) children aged 8 to 17 years old who participated in a health survey (2015). Physical fitness (PF) and anthropometric estimations were obtained by trained investigators. Physical activity (PA) status, sedentary activities and sleeping hours were assessed through self-completed questionnaires. Mediterranean diet was evaluated via KIDMED test. RESULTS:Forty percent of participants presented an optimal adherence to MD (≥8), while one to ten incorporated a low adherence to MD (≤3), in both genders. Participants with optimal adherence to MD presented a more favourable status in anthropometric and lifestyle characteristics. Adjusting for several potential confounders, increased screen time (<2 h/d) augmented odds of low adherence by 135% (95% CI: 2.216-2.491) and 150% (95% CI: 2.346-2.687), in boys and girls, respectively. For each 1-year enlarge in the age of children the odds of low adherence to MD enlarged by almost 11% (95%CI: 1.101-1.138) in both genders, while, boys had almost 6% increased probabilities to the low adherence (95%CI: 1.039, 1.102) than girls. Furthermore, insufficient sleeping hours (>2 h/d) and inadequate PA status were connected to higher odds of low adherence to MD. CONCLUSIONS:Support a modest adherence to the MD and an enhancement considered necessary to adjust dietary intake to current guidelines. However, screen time presented a strong association with low adherence to MD.

publication date

  • 2018