Food consumption and cardiovascular risk factors in European children: The IDEFICS study

S. Bel-Serrat, T. Mouratidou, C. Börnhorst, J. Peplies, S. De Henauw, S. Marild, D. Molnár, A. Siani, M. Tornaritis, T. Veidebaum, V. Krogh, L. A. Moreno

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Objective: To investigate food consumption in relation to clustered cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Methods: Children (n = 5548, 51.6% boys) from eight European countries participated in the IDEFICS study baseline survey (2007-2008). Z-scores of individual CVD risk factors were summed to compute sexand age-specific (2-<6 years/6-9 years) clustered CVD risk scores A (all components, except cardiorespiratory fitness) and B (all components). The association of clustered CVD risk and tertiles of food group consumption was examined. Results: Odds ratio (OR) of having clustered CVD risk A increased in older children with higher consumption of chocolate and nut-based spreads (boys: OR = 0.46; 95% CI = 0.32-0.69; girls: OR = 0.60; 95% CI = 0.42-0.86), jam and honey (girls: OR = 0.45; 95% CI = 0.26-0.78) and sweets (boys: OR = 0.69; 95% CI = 0.48-0.98). OR of being at risk significantly increased with the highest consumption of soft drinks (younger boys) and manufactured juices (older girls). Concerning CVD risk score B, older boys and girls in the highest tertile of consumption of breakfast cereals were 0.41 (95% CI = 0.21-0.79) and 0.45 (95% CI = 0.22-0.93) times, respectively, less likely to be at risk than those in tertile 1. Conclusions: High consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and low intake of breakfast cereals, jam and honey, sweets and chocolate and nut-based spreads seem to adversely affect clustered CVD risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-236
Number of pages12
JournalPediatric Obesity
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • Cardiovascular risk factors
  • Children
  • European cohort
  • Food consumption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Health Policy
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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    Bel-Serrat, S., Mouratidou, T., Börnhorst, C., Peplies, J., De Henauw, S., Marild, S., Molnár, D., Siani, A., Tornaritis, M., Veidebaum, T., Krogh, V., & A. Moreno, L. (2013). Food consumption and cardiovascular risk factors in European children: The IDEFICS study. Pediatric Obesity, 8(3), 225-236.