Study on the nutritional status and feeding habits in school-children in Madrid City (Spain) during the economic crisis
Moreno Villares JM (1), Sáenz de Pipaón M, Carrasco Sanz Á, Díaz Martín JJ, Redecillas Ferreiro S, Moráis López A, Sánchez Valverde F, Navas López V, San José González MÁ, Leis Trabazo R, Gil-Campos M, Blesa Baviera LC, Campoy Folgoso C.
the recent economic and financial crisis has affected most Western countries, especially families of low socioeconomic classes. We speculate that worsening of socioeconomic condition associated with the crisis would increase obesity, mainly in disadvantaged families.
MATERIAL AND METHODS:
cross-sectional study of the 290,111 children aged three to 12 years old attending public school during the term 2014-2015 in Madrid City, by means of a stratified weighted sample randomly chosen, taking into account age (grade), city district and schools. The questionnaire included weight and height (auto-reported), dietary report (weekly frequency of intake), as well as socioeconomic variables.
1,208 questionnaires were evaluated from 64 classes. Half of participants were boys; 42% were younger than five years old, 35% werebetween six and eight years old, and 23% older than eight. Undernutrition was present in 5.0%, and excess of weight (overweight + obesity) in 36.7%. Undernutrition was higher in children under the age of six (9.1%). No relationship was found between undernutrition and the characteristics of the families but was slightly higher in families where both parents were unemployed. Excess of weight was higher in children of non-Spaniard parents (44% vs 32%, p < 0.0001), as well as in those families with economic problems (41% vs 31%, p = 0.0005). Only for meat, grains and dairy, the weekly intake was close to the recommendations.
children from lower income households were at a higher risk of being overweight compared with their peers. Participation in a school-based food aid program may reduce food insecurity for children and their families.