Determinants associated with obesity and physical activity in the public and private schools of the city of palermo

Omar Enzo Santangelo, Alberto Firenze, Maria Antonietta Cernigliaro, Achille Cernigliaro, Francesca Mattina, Sandro Provenzano, Valentina Bonanno, Valentina Marchese

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Introduction: Obesity is a medical condition associated with premature death and it is a risk factor for many chronic diseases. In this context, performing a regular physical activity promotes a healthy lifestyle, with significant health benefits. The aim of the study was to investigate behaviors that increase the risk of obesity and the determinants that encourage physical activity among adolescents. Materials and methods: The HBSC (Health Behavior in School-aged Children) questionnaire was administered to students in Palermo's private and public schools. For the sampling of public schools the protocol of the HBSC Surveillance System was followed; for the private ones it was opportunistic. Results: Private school students are more likely to exercise more than 3 days per week (OR 1.58) and are more likely to exercise more than 2 times a week (OR 2.08). Obese students in private schools in Palermo are more likely to perform physical activity for less than 3 days a week (OR 3.52) and a higher risk of not having breakfast (OR 10.11) and a snack between main meals (OR 3.82) every day. For all the schools examined, it emerged that obese subjects are more likely not to consume fruit (OR 3.13), to stay more than 6 hours a day in front of PCs and video games (OR 3.24) and more than 2 hours a day in front of TV (OR 3.79). Male students are more likely to perform physical activity for more than 3 days per week (OR 1.48) and intense physical activity at least 2 times per week (OR 1.76) Conclusions: It is necessary to intervene early with training on school and family in order to promote correct and responsible food choices and increase the level of physical activity among students. Therefore prevention interventions must be an integral part of coherent strategies based on tests of agreed effectiveness in order to minimize the risk linked to the development of diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-448
Number of pages6
JournalActa Medica Mediterranea
Publication statusPublished - 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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