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Physical activity (PA) levels and dietary habits are considered some of the most important factors associated with obesity. The present study aimed to examine the association between PA level and food and beverage consumption in European children (2–10 years old).
A sample of 7229 children (49·0 % girls) from eight European countries participating in the IDEFICS (Identification and prevention of Dietary and lifestyle induced health EFfects In Children and infantS) study was included. Moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) was assessed objectively with accelerometers. FFQ was used to register dietary habits. ANCOVA and binary logistic regression were applied.
Boys who spent less time in MVPA reported lower consumption of vegetables, fruits, cereals, yoghurt, milk, bread, pasta, candies and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) than boys who spent more time in MVPA (P<0·05). Moreover, boys who spent less time in MVPA were more likely to consume fast foods and water than those in the highest MVPA tertile (P<0·05). Girls who spent less time in MVPA reported lower consumption frequencies of vegetables, pasta, bread, yoghurt, candies, jam/honey and SSB than girls in the highest MVPA tertile (P<0·05). Also, girls in the lowest MVPA tertile were more likely to consume fast foods and water than those with high levels of MVPA (P<0·05).
Food intake among European children varied with different levels of daily MVPA. Low time spent in MVPA was associated with lowest consumption of both high- and low-energy-dense foods and high fast-food consumption.
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