A Snapshot of European Children’s Eating Habits: Results from the Fourth Round of the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI)

Julianne Williams, Marta Buoncristiano, Paola Nardone, Ana Isabel Rito, Angela Spinelli, Tatjana Hejgaard, Lene Kierkegaard, Eha Nurk, Marie Kunešová, Sanja Musić Milanović, Marta García-Solano, Enrique Gutiérrez-González, Lacramioara Aurelia Brinduse, Alexandra Cucu, Anna Fijałkowska, Victoria Farrugia Sant’Angelo, Shynar Abdrakhmanova, Iveta Pudule, Vesselka Duleva, Nazan YardimAndrea Gualtieri, Mirjam Heinen, Silvia Bel-Serrat, Zhamyla Usupova, Valentina Peterkova, Lela Shengelia, Jolanda Hyska, Maya Tanrygulyyeva, Ausra Petrauskiene, Sanavbar Rakhmatullaeva, Enisa Kujundzic, Sergej M. Ostojic, Daniel Weghuber, Marina Melkumova, Igor Spiroski, Gregor Starc, Harry Rutter, Giulia Rathmes, Anne Charlotte Bunge, Ivo Rakovac, Khadichamo Boymatova, Martin Weber, João Breda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Consuming a healthy diet in childhood helps to protect against malnutrition and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). This cross-sectional study described the diets of 132,489 children aged six to nine years from 23 countries participating in round four (2015–2017) of the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI). Children’s parents or caregivers were asked to complete a questionnaire that contained indicators of energy-balance-related behaviors (including diet). For each country, we calculated the percentage of children who consumed breakfast, fruit, vegetables, sweet snacks or soft drinks “every day”, “most days (four to six days per week)”, “some days (one to three days per week)”, or “never or less than once a week”. We reported these results stratified by country, sex, and region. On a daily basis, most children (78.5%) consumed breakfast, fewer than half (42.5%) consumed fruit, fewer than a quarter (22.6%) consumed fresh vegetables, and around one in ten consumed sweet snacks or soft drinks (10.3% and 9.4%, respectively); however, there were large between-country differences. This paper highlights an urgent need to create healthier food and drink environments, reinforce health systems to promote healthy diets, and continue to support child nutrition and obesity surveillance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2481
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalNutrients
Volume12
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Child
  • Children
  • Fruit
  • Health
  • Noncommunicable diseases
  • Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Soft drinks
  • Surveillance
  • Vegetables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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