Overweight and obesity in Mexican elementary school children increased ten percentage points in the last 30 years; one of the factors attributed is inadequate dietary quality. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association of monounsaturated fat intake with abdominal obesity and nutrient intake and obesity and overweight with dietary quality of elementary school children from Northwest Mexico. A cross-sectional study was conducted with 218 first grade elementary school children. A socioeconomic survey and two nonconsecutive 24-HR were applied, and anthropometric measurements were taken. Dietary quality was evaluated and classified as: healthy, medium and poor. Children consumed fewer servings of fruits, vegetables, legumes, dairy products and water than recommended by the Mexican food guidelines. A negative association was found among monounsaturated fat intake and abdominal obesity (p = .032). Only 1.4% of the children presented healthy dietary quality, 44.5% showed a medium dietary quality, and 54.1% had poor dietary quality. Poor dietary quality was associated with a lower intake of fiber (p = .002), protein (p = .002), potassium (p = .001) and vitamin E (p = .002). Elementary school children from Northwest Mexico have inadequate dietary quality that compromises their nutritional and health status, while monounsaturated fat intake could be a protective factor for abdominal obesity.
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