Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Prevalence of the level of physical activity and adherence to the Mediterranean diet in children with special education needs

Iago Portela-Pino, Maria Luisa Baamonde-Paz, Margarita Pino-Juste


Research studies show the importance of diet and regular physical activity in order to achieve a good quality of life. For children with specific education needs, the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle are even worse than that for the general population. The aim is to analyse the adherence to the Mediterranean Diet and the level of physical activity in 130 children with Specific Needs and Educational Support attending regular and specific schools. The instrument used to measure the adherence to the Mediterranean Diet was the Kidmed test, taken as the model healthy diet. The physical activity in children was measured with the PAQ-C. The results showed that among children with Specific Needs and Educational Support, the adherence to the Mediterranean Diet must be improved and that their level of practice of physical activities was moderate. There were not significant differences in adherence regarding gender, school year, population situation or diagnosis. Only that adherence is lower in children in need of educational support. We found the same results with physical activity level, except in the case of the variable gender, with children suffering from ASD.



Children; Education needs; Diet; Physical activity; Healthy habits


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