Background Childhood obesity increases the likelihood of several consequences for a child (precocious puberty, polycystic ovary syndrome, diabetes mellitus type 2, etc) and also later in adulthood (increased mortality due to cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, etc).
Aim The aim of the current study was to investigate the prevalence of overweightness and obesity among Greek students and to determine the correlation between diet and physical activity.
Methods 2374 pupils in primary education were considered for the study (1206 boys and 1168 girls). Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS version 15.0 (SPSS Chicago, IL USA). A p-value < 0.05 was accepted for statistical significance.
Results Cross-correlation between overweight and obese children and sex showed that more males (9.2%) are obese than females (5.3%). The rate of overweight children was at 23.9%, of obese children at 7.3% and the rate of central obesity was at 35.5%. Regarding children that did not follow a healthy diet in school, 34.1% of them were overweight or obese and 38.6% had central obesity; 32% of the children that had a healthy diet in school were overweight or obese, and 27.8% of them had central obesity. In multiple regression analyses, central obesity was associated with hours of daily TV watching and with the hours of daily computer use.
Conclusions It is important adhering to a healthy lifestyle which emphasizes healthy food choices and habits, regular physical activity, and limiting screen time.