Child’s food consumption and physical exercise: results from a Portuguese descriptive study

Goreti Marques, Constança Festas, Carla Sílvia Fernandes, Daniela Simões, Fátima Ferreira, Sara Pinto, Áurea Jorge, Gustavo Ferreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Aims: To describe food consumption in Portuguese primary school children, to analyze the influence of food consumption on the body mass index (BMI), and to analyze the relationship between physical exercise and the child's food consumption. Method: A quantitative, descriptive, exploratory, and cross-sectional study was conducted in 2 primary schools of the north of Portugal (n = 109 child). The use of a food register for 5 consecutive days and anthropometric evaluation of the children were used. Results: The vast majority of children had a normal weight (65.10%). However, 34.90% of the children presented significant changes in their BMI (14.70% with low weight, 11.90% overweight, and 8.30% with obesity). Children who engage in physical activity drink more water and consume less sugary products. However, they also consume less meat, fish, and eggs than those who do not perform regular physical activity. Conclusions: The study highlights the emergence of new problems, such as the increasing prevalence of underweight children. The prevention of these problems, overweight, or underweight children, should be addressed among healthcare providers, local authorities, families, and teachers.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere46
Number of pages5
JournalPorto Biomedical Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Child
  • Feeding behavior
  • Health behavior
  • Nursing


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