Correlates of physical activity, sedentary behaviours and food habits among Portuguese adolescents: trends and socio-biological differences

M. G. Matos, Celeste Simões, Nuno Loureiro, J. A. Diniz, Luis Calmeiro

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to test a model of adolescent health and its relationships with physical activity and changes in practise over time.

Methods: Data from of the Portuguese Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC; Currie, et al, 2000) study was used, comprising a nationally representative samples of adolescents attending 6th, 8th and 10th grade (mean age = 14 years, SD = 1.9). 3 waves of HBSC study were used, 1998, 2002, 2006.

Results: Over the 3 waves, younger students had the least risk behaviours: better food habits, more physical activity, less psychological symptoms, less sedentary behaviours, less body concerns. Girls revealed higher frequency of psychological symptoms, body concerns and boys reported higher substance abuse; boys are more frequently overweight, girls are more frequently on diet and unhappy with own body. Psychological symptoms and body concerns are higher among overweight adolescents compared to normal weight adolescents. A low social economic status (SES) is consistently associated with a poorer health condition.

Conclusions: The association of physical activity with well-being and life satisfaction is moderated by gender, age, SES and BMI, but are invariant over time. Implications for educational interventions are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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