Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Science & Education, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece
| [b] Department of Kinesiology and Health, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA
Corresponding author: Labros S. Sidossis, Ph.D. Department of Kinesiology and Health, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA. Tel.: +1 848 932 9512; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: BACKGROUND:Frequent sweet consumption constitutes a significant health issue among children which leads to a predisposition towards overweight and cardiovascular disease risk factors. OBJECTIVE:To examine the prevalence of sweet consumption and to identify associated lifestyle factors. METHODS:Cross-sectional, observational study. Population data derived from a health survey carried out in 2015 on a representative sample of 177091 children aged 8 to 17 years. Sweet consumption and dietary habits were evaluated using questionnaires (KIDMED index). Frequency of sweets consumption constitutes a question of KIDMED and it was classified as rare or frequent. Physical activity status, screen time and sleeping habits were assessed through self-completed questionnaires. RESULTS:More boys than girls (19.6% vs. 17.5%, p < 0.001) consumed sweet frequently (more than twice daily). Sweet consumption was strongly associated with unhealthy dietary habits such as skipping breakfast and fast food consumption. Adjusting for several covariates, insufficient dietary habits, insufficient sleep and increased screen time were increased on participant’s odds of being frequent sweet consumers by 80% (95% CI 0.17–0.23), 18% (95% CI1.05–1.29) and 218% (95% CI 1.96–2.41) in boys and by 80% (95% CI 0.17–0.24), 31% (95% CI1.17–1.47) and 241% (95% CI 2.15–2.72) in girls. CONCLUSIONS:Frequent sweet consumption was associated with an unhealthy lifestyle profile.