"OKKIO alla salute 2014" results from the Tuscan sample.Ann Ig. 2018 Jul-Aug; 30(4):259-272.AI
The prevalence of overweight and obesity among children is rapidly increasing in many countries. For this reason we decided to investigate the eating habits of 8-9 years old Tuscany children, by paying attention to the frequency of their meals per day and to their food choices, also in relation to children's Body Mass Index (BMI) classes. In addition, we considered some environmental factors that could affect children eating behaviors, such as parents' BMI.
Data from the 2014 Tuscany nutritional surveillance system (part of the national periodical survey) and collected from children, parents and teachers, have been linked to study of children's eating habits. Logistic regression analyses were used to investigate the association between incorrect dietary habits and the potential predictors of overweight and obesity.
More than half of the 2,163 children (68.64% overall, 67.61% females, 69.56% males) reported to have eaten an appropriate breakfast in the morning, while 5.9% skipped breakfast and only 33.5% of children ate an appropriate mid-morning snack. Logistic regression showed that having breakfast and especially an adequate breakfast are protective factors against obesity (OR 0.57, p<0.01; OR 0.84; p=0.03 respectively).
In Tuscany Region, unhealthy dietary habits are common among children. The identified deficiencies may be a harbinger of future public health problems.