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Revista Española de Nutrición Humana y Dietética

On-line version ISSN 2174-5145Print version ISSN 2173-1292


CARRILLO LOPEZ, Pedro José; ROSA GUILLAMON, Andrés  and  GARCIA CANTO, Eliseo. Cross-sectional study on the relationship between physical activity and the quality of diet in compulsory secondary school students. Rev Esp Nutr Hum Diet [online]. 2021, vol.25, n.1, pp.95-103.  Epub Nov 08, 2021. ISSN 2174-5145.


The scientific literature reports a significant decrease in the levels of adherence to the Mediterranean diet and physical activity in young people, which influences health status. A concern that can be seen in the analyses carried out in various studies as well as in intervention programs implemented from the institutions. The objective was determined the relationship between the physical activity and the quality of the Mediterranean diet in compulsory Secondary Education schoolchildren according to age and sex.

Material and Methods:

Descriptive-cross-sectional study carried out with 194 Spanish schoolchildren aged 12-16 years selected by intentional non-probabilistic sampling from Murcia. The quality of the diet (DQ) was assessed through the KIDMED questionnaire and physical activity (PA) through the International Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents. The statistical analysis has been carried out by means of the T Student tests, One-way ANOVA and a linear regression analysis.


The results of the analyses showed significant differences in the level of PA according to educational section in males (p<0.047) and considering the total (p<0.017). Regarding the differences in the level of PA as a function of DQ, significant differences were found between a high level of DQ and their homologous pairs with a low level (p<0.001). Finally, after adjusting for sex and age, the linear regression test showed that PA was associated with DQ (p<0.001) with a value of R2=0.521.


Greater physical activity is related to a higher quality of diet in compulsory secondary school students. There is a need to design from the educational and health institution training programs, both for teachers and students, that allow the development of behaviours directed towards a healthy perspective that lasts until adulthood.

Keywords : Life Style; Exercise; Diet, Food, and Nutrition; Diet; Diet, Healthy; Health; Child; Adolescent.

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