González-Gross M, Gómez-Lorente JJ, Valtueña J, Ortiz JC, Meléndez A - 35740 N - Nutr Hosp 2008 ; 23(2) : 159-68.

The "healthy lifestyle guide pyramid" for children and adolescents

INTRODUCTION: Increasing evidence demonstrates that risk factors for chronic diseases are established during childhood and adolescence. Consensus about the need to increase prevention efforts makes the adoption of a healthy lifestyle seem desirable from early childhood onwards. After reviewing educational tools for children and adolescents aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle, it was recognized that there was a need to develop a simple educational tool specifically designed for these age groups. METHODS: Development of the healthy lifestyle pyramid for children and adolescents. RESULTS: We propose a three-dimensional, truncated and staggered pyramid with 4 faces and a base, which introduces a completely new concept that goes beyond other published pyramids. Each of the faces is oriented towards achieving a different goal. Two faces (faces 1 and 2) are formulated around achieving a goal on a daily basis (daily food intake, face 1, and daily activities, face 2). Face 3 is an adaptation of the traditional food guide pyramid, adapted to children's energy, nutritional and hydration needs. Face 4 deals with both daily and life-long habits. On the base of the pyramid, there is advice about adequate nutrition alternating with advice about physical activity and sports. CONCLUSION: The Healthy Lifestyle Pyramid is specifically developed for children and adolescents according to current scientific knowledge and evidence-based data and includes easy-to-follow advice and full colour pictures. Following these guidelines should improve health and reduce risk factors, promoting enjoyable and appropriate development towards adulthood.