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Nutrición Hospitalaria

versión On-line ISSN 1699-5198versión impresa ISSN 0212-1611


SEVILLA-VERA, Yolanda et al. Healthy habits in childhood and adolescence in rural areas. A descriptive and comparative study. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2021, vol.38, n.6, pp.1217-1223.  Epub 07-Feb-2022. ISSN 1699-5198.


the promotion of healthy lifestyles for health care is a priority in the European Union, and the acquisition of these habits begins during childhood.


to know the eating, sleep, physical activity and sedentary leisure habits, body image, and body mass index percentile among children and adolescents in Castile-La Mancha, Spain. To explore potential differences between children and adolescents in the measured variables.


this was a descriptive, cross-sectional study with 293 subjects (n = 197 children and n = 96 adolescents). Instruments: scale and stadimeter for anthropometric measurements, and items chosen from the Cantabrian Network of Health Promoting Schools and Schools for Health in Europe.


a high percentage of children and adolescents report having inadequate eating habits, with significant differences in the omission of breakfast (f = 6.820; p = 0.009; η2 = 0.023) and in the consumption of fish (f = 8.901; p = 0.003; η2 = 0.030); this was worse among adolescents, where 35.4 % say they do not eat breakfast compared to 21.4 % of children, and 57.3 % say they never eat fish or only do so once a week, compared to 41.1 % of children. Regarding sleep, there are significant differences between children and adolescents (f = 69.70; p = 0.000; η2 = 0.193), with the latter also having the worst results since 28.1 % of adolescents report sleeping less than 7 hours a day, compared with 8.6 % of children. It is worth mentioning the short amount of time devoted to intense physical activity and the declaration of lack of time as perceived barrier to physical activity, reported by 49 % of adolescents and 27.5 % of children. Lastly, sedentary leisure at both stages stands out, with 78.2 % of adolescents and 44.6 % of children spending more than three hours a day watching television, and 74 % of adolescents and 28 % of children playing more than three hours with different technologies.


this study shows that adolescents have poorer healthy habits than children in rural areas. The need to increase programs for the deve­lopment and promotion of healthy lifestyles devoted to younger children and developed by the various agencies responsible for health care is highlighted.

Palabras clave : Eating habits; Body image; Physical activity; Childhood; Adolescence.

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