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Revista médica del Hospital General de México

On-line version ISSN 2524-177XPrint version ISSN 0185-1063


BARAJAS-GARCIA, Dulce C.  and  MERCADO-MERCADO, Gilberto. Physical activity, eating habits, and nutritional status of school children in Tepic Nayarit Mexico. Rev. med. Hosp. Gen. Méx. [online]. 2021, vol.84, n.1, pp.18-27.  Epub Jan 22, 2021. ISSN 2524-177X.


Obesity (Ob) is a chronic problem that causes health problems mainly in infants.


The objective of the study was to assess the nutritional status (NS), eating habits (EH), and physical activity of elementary school children.

Materials and methods:

Two hundred and twenty-six school children participated, all of whom were fourth grade (78 students), fifth grade (93 students), and sixth grade (55 students) school children of both sexes, aged 9-13 years. Questionnaires were conducted asking about parents' availability to prepare lunch for their children before taking them to school, food preferences at breakfast, children's food preferences within the school, and children's physical activities during and after school. The questionnaire of EH was made to the children expressing itself as the frequency of consumption of the food groups. The food consumption preference index (PI) was determined. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire for Children's was used to estimate the level of physical activity during the school day. Anthropometric parameters were determined to diagnose their NS.


About 55% of parents of 4th graders buy food for their children. About 44% of 6th graders are given money to buy them at school. Hamburgers (PI = 6 in 6th), fried foods (PI = 9 in 4th; PI = 6 in 5th and 6th), pizza (PI = 9 in 5th y 6th), cookies (PI = 9 in 4th y 5th), and soft drinks (PI = 9 in 4th and 6th; PI = 6 in 5th) are foods most often eaten inside the school. Physical activity decreases as the school grade increases. Fourth prefer to play bring it (41%) and have fun in some kind of sport (35%); while 5th prefer to sit (26%) or to talk and walk (28%). There is a high prevalence of Ob in all three grades assessed (71% 4°, 69% 5°, and 78% 6°).


School children have moderate and low levels of physical activity during school hours and junk food is prevalent in school schedules.

Keywords : School children; Obesity; Eating habits; Physical activity; Tepic; Elementary school.

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