This study analyzed the association between sedentary behavior (SB), unhealthy food consumption, and dental caries amongst 12-year-old schoolchildren. An epidemiological survey was carried out in the five largest cities (>80,000 inhabitants) of the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Data were collected on decayed, missing and filled teeth index (DMFT), sociodemographic characteristics, SB, unhealthy food consumption, and water fluoridation status. The analysis was based on the theoretical framework established by J Sisson. Structural equation models were performed to test the association of dental caries experience with sociodemographic, contextual, and behavioral factors. The mean DMFT index in the five cities was 1.02 (95%CI: 0.39–1.66). Higher sedentary behavior (more than 2 hours/day) [standardized coefficient (SC) = 0.21 95%CI: 0.07–0.39] and higher unhealthy food consumption (more than 4 times/week) [SC = 0.23 (0.10–0.45)] were associated with higher DMFT index than their counterparts. Also, cities with fluoridated water were associated with lower DMFT index [SC = -0.85 (-1.20–-0.50)]. Families who had a per capita income above the poverty line had a direct association with unhealthy food consumption [SC = -0.24 (-0.38–-0.11)]. Unhealthy food consumption mediated the association of sedentary behavior on DMFT index [SC=0.07 (0.02–0.13)]. Sensitivity analysis confirmed the findings. Sedentary behavior mediated by unhealthy food consumption had a significant association with dental caries experience. Public policies must address transdisciplinary actions to reduce sedentary behavior and unhealthy food consumption and promote water fluoridation.
Bomfim, R. A., Frias, A. C., Cascaes, A. M., Mazzilli, L. E. N., de Souza, L. B., Carrer, F. C. D. A., & de Araújo, M. E. (2021). Sedentary Behavior, Unhealthy Food Consumption and Dental Caries in 12-year-old Schoolchildren: a Population-based Study. Brazilian Oral Research, 35, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1590/1807-3107BOR-2021.VOL35.0041