Background: Evaluation of eating habits and physical activity is very important for health interventions. Our aim in this study was to assess the characteristics of eating and physical activity of 6-7th grade schoolchildren in the city of Vilnius, Lithuania, as well as the association between dietary habits and physical activity. Methods: The study was conducted within the project “Education of healthy diets and physical activity in schools”. The sample consisted of 1008 schoolchildren from 22 schools in the city of Vilnius, and was based on empirical methods, including a questionnaire poll and comparative analysis. Statistical software Stata v.12.1 (Stata corp LP) was used to analyze the data.
Results: Our study showed that less than half (37.1%) of study participants had physically active leisure time. Boys were significantly more physically active than girls. More than half (61.4%) of children ate breakfast every day. Girls were more likely to eat vegetables and sweets. Schoolchildren who ate vegetables and dairy products as well as those who got enough information about physical activity and spoke about it with their family members were more physically active.
Conclusions: The results of the study confirmed that schoolchildren were not sufficiently physically active. It was found that low physical activity is related to dietary and other factors, such as lack of information about physical activity and its benefits.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.