Objective The association between sleep duration, extracurricular sport, screen-based activities and dietary variables with prevalence of overweight in middle childhood, regarding gender differences, was assessed.
Methods Cross-sectional study involving 2814 children (age 6¿12 years). Measured weight and height and reported lifestyle variables were obtained by health professionals previously trained. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the associations between variables and the likelihood of being overweight.
Results Prevalence of overweight (including obesity) was 31.9% in boys and 30.4% in girls. In boys, engaging ¿3h/week in sports activities (OR 0.7, 95% CI 0.5¿0.9), eating daily breakfast (OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.4¿0.9) and consuming ¿2fruits/day (OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.6¿0.9) were independent protective factors against overweight, whereas children consuming fast food weekly and sweets daily were estimated to be 30% and 40%, respectively, more likely to be overweight. Only buns consumption resulted associated with overweight in girls (OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.1¿1.7).
Conclusions Prevalence of overweight in a sample of Southern European children is high and underlines gender differences in lifestyle determinants. Engaging in extracurricular sport, promoting daily breakfast, adequate fruit consumption and reducing high energy-dense foods, should be encouraged in boys, whereas further investigation on girls behaviours would be valuable.