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Introduction: It has been reported that home confinement due to the COVID 19 pandemic has caused essential changes in the eating habits of children and adolescents worldwide, compromising their nutritional status due to the increased prevalence of malnutrition and obesity. This study aimed to identify eating habits disorders in children and adolescents during confinement in Ecuador.
Methodology: This cross-sectional study included 1,446 parents or primary caregivers of Ecuadorian children and adolescents. A validated survey was carried out with a probabilistic sample. A descriptive and inferential analysis of the study variables was performed with the statistical software SPSS Version 25.
Results: In confinement, 67.8% (n= 981) of respondents did not make changes to their diet. 79.8% (n=791) of people already maintained healthy habits during confinement, and 20.2% (n=200) changed their habits from healthy to unhealthy. 67.5% (n=307) did not have healthy eating habits and continued this practice; 32.5% (n=148) went from having unhealthy to healthy habits. The presence of "healthy habits" was associated with biparental families (OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.04-1.61, P < 0.05), 1 to 2 people living in the house (OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.34-0.93, P < 0.05), with face-to-face work (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.55-0.86, P<0.05), dependent work (OR 0.62, 95% CI 0.48-0.80, P <0.05), and compliance with quarantine (OR 1.55, CI 95% 1.21-1.98, P<0.05).
Conclusion: Children and adolescents in Ecuador, for the most part, did not present changes in eating habits, being these healthy.
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