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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Mar;68(3):300-8. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2013.170. Epub 2013 Sep 18.

Increased sedentary behaviour is associated with unhealthy dietary patterns in European adolescents participating in the HELENA study.

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GENUD (Growth, Exercise, Nutrition and Development) Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain.
1] Department of Public Health, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium [2] International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Dietary Exposure Assessment group (DEX), Lyon, France.
1] Inserm U955, IFR 114/IMPRT, Faculty of Medicine, University Lille 2, Lille, France [2] CIC 9301-CH&U-Inserm of Lille, CHRU de Lille, Lille, France.
Department of Medical Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.
National Research Institute for Food and Nutrition (INRAN), Rome, Italy.
1] Department of Biosciences and Nutrition at NOVUM, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge, Sweden [2] Public Health Department, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Märlardalens University, Västeras, Sweden.
1] Department of Social Medicine, Preventive Medicine and Nutrition Clinic, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece [2] Argonafton 47, Ilioupolis, Athens, Greece.
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harakopio University, Athens, Greece.
Inmunonutrition Research Group, Department of Metabolism and Nutrition, Instituto del Frío, Institute of Food Science and Technology an Nutrition (ICTAN), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Madrid, Spain.
Department of Pediatrics, Medical Faculty, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary.
Department of Social Medicine, Preventive Medicine and Nutrition Clinic, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece.
ImFINE Research Group, Department of Health and Human Performance, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, Vienna, Austria.
Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.



To assess dietary patterns (DPs) in European adolescents and to examine their relationship with several indicators of sedentary behaviour.


A multinational cross-sectional study was carried out in 2202 adolescents (45.4% boys) aged 12.5-17.5 years. A self-reported questionnaire with information on sedentary behaviours, separately for weekdays and weekend days, and two non-consecutive 24 h-recalls were used. Principal component analysis was used to obtain DPs, and linear regression examined the association between DPs scores and sedentary behaviour.


Four DPs for boys ('plant based', 'snacking', 'breakfast' and 'health conscious') and five DPs for girls ('confectionary and snacking', 'plant based', 'breakfast', 'animal protein' and 'health conscious') were obtained. Boys who spent >4 h/day watching television (TV) had lower adherence to the 'plant based', 'breakfast' and 'health conscious' DPs, and higher adherence to the 'snacking' DP. Higher computer use and internet use for recreational reason were associated with higher adherence to the 'snacking' DP. In girls, TV viewing and using internet for recreational reasons for >4 h/day was associated with higher adherence to the 'confectionary and snacking' and lower adherence with 'health conscious' DP. Also, studying between 2 and 4 h during weekend days was associated with lower adherence to the 'snacking' and with higher adherence to the 'plant based' and 'breakfast' DPs.


Adolescents' DPs are related with the time spent in several sedentary behaviours. Such findings may help to generate interventions focusing on decreasing unhealthy dietary habits and specific sedentary behaviours.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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