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Salty-Snack Eating, Television or Video-Game Viewing, and Asthma Symptoms among 10- to 12-Year-Old Children: The PANACEA Study



      Salty-snack consumption, as well as the amount of time children spend watching television or playing video games, have been implicated in the development of asthma; however, results are still conflicting.


      The aim of this work was to evaluate the association of salty-snack eating and television/video-game viewing with childhood asthma symptoms.


      Cross-sectional study.


      Seven hundred children (323 male), 10 to 12 years old, from 18 schools located in the greater area of Athens were enrolled. Children and their parents completed questionnaires, which evaluated, among other things, dietary habits. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was evaluated using the KIDMED (Mediterranean Diet Quality Index for Children and Adolescents) score.

      Statistical analysis

      The association of children's characteristics with asthma symptoms was performed by calculating the odds ratios and corresponding 95% confidence intervals.


      Overall lifetime prevalence of asthma symptoms was 23.7% (27.6% boys, 20.4% girls; P=0.03). Forty-eight percent of children reported salty-snack consumption (≥1 times/week). Salty-snack consumption was positively associated with the hours of television/video-game viewing (P=0.04) and inversely with the KIDMED score (P=0.02). Consumption of salty snacks (>3 times/week vs never/rare) was associated with a 4.8-times higher likelihood of having asthma symptoms (95% confidence interval: 1.50 to 15.8), irrespective of potential confounders. The associations of salty-snack eating and asthma symptoms were more prominent in children who watched television or played video games >2 hours/day. In addition, adherence to the Mediterranean diet was inversely associated with the likelihood of asthma symptoms.


      Unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, such as salty-snack eating and television/video-game viewing were strongly associated with the presence of asthma symptoms. Future interventions and public health messages should be focused on changing these behaviors from the early stages of life.
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      F. Arvaniti is a doctoral candidate, Unit of Human Nutrition, Department of Food Science and Technology, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece.


      M. Kapsokefalou is an assistant professor, Unit of Human Nutrition, Department of Food Science and Technology, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece.


      K. N. Priftis is an assistant professor, Department of Allergy-Pneumonology, Penteli Children's Hospital, Penteli, Greece.


      A. Papadimitriou is an assistant professor, Third Department of Pediatrics, Attikon Hospital, Athens University Medical School, Athens, Greece.


      P. Yiallouros is a physician, MD, Cyprus International Institute for the Environment and Public Health, Nicosia, Cyprus.


      M. B. Anthracopoulos is an assistant professor, Respiratory Unit, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital of Patras, Greece.


      D. B. Panagiotakos is an associate professor, Department of Nutrition−Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece.

      Linked Article

      • Erratum
        Journal of the American Dietetic AssociationVol. 111Issue 4
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          In the article “Salty-Snack Eating, Television or Video-Game Viewing, and Asthma Symptoms among 10- to 12-Year-Old Children: The PANACEA Study” that appeared in the February 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (pp 251-257), the credentials for author Fotini Arvaniti were mistakenly listed as MSc, RD. The author should have been listed as Fotini Arvaniti, MSc.
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