More than 200 Schools Added to the PASOS Study for Children’s Health

This Gasol Foundation pioneer initiative is in conjunction with IMIM, whose main collaborator is the Probitas Foundation. The Pasos study aims to evaluate the physical activity levels  of children in Spain

  • The PASOS Study will generate scientific evidence regarding physical activity lifestyles in Spain. This data will help to promote initiatives that, in turn, will then help reduce the rates of overweight children and childhood obesity that currently affect more than 40% of Spanish minors ages 6 to 9 years old.
  • In total, the study evaluates 4,508 randomly selected children and adolescents between the ages of 8 – 16 from 242 primary and secondary schools.
  • Through the RAI program (Reinforcement of the Infant Feeding), the Probitas Foundation is dedicated to thoroughly teaching and promoting healthy habits to all at- risk minors and young people. Additionally, the Probitas Foundation is one of the 14 research groups in charge of the field work in school centers.

“Studying the level of physical activity and the sedentary lifestyle of children and adolescents in our homes is necessary in order to promote educational policies and interventions that contribute to prevent childhood obesity and the illnesses that this implies in the long term” , explains Pau Gasol, President of the Gasol Foundation. According to the Guide on Physical Activity, Sedentary and Sleep for children under 5, “physical inactivity has been identified as one of the main risk factors for global mortality and contributes to the increase in obesity“.

With the overall objective of evaluating physical activity lifestyles and improving children’s health in Spain, the PASOS Study (acronym for the English acronyms Physical Activity, Sedentarism and Obesity in Spanish Youth) was created. This initiative is led by the Gasol Foundation, a health and wellness foundation founded in 2013 by Pau and Marc Gasol. The Gasol’s are brothers, NBA athletes and All-Stars who are very passionate when it comes to children’s health. For their work, Pau and Marc have received special recognition from the XII NAOS Strategy Awards of the AESAN, a Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition). Gasol Foundation has made significant strides both in Spain and the United States. The foundation focuses on four key pillars of health: healthy eating, physical activity and sports, sleep quality, and emotional well-being. Through the foundation’s numerous successful programs and initiatives over the years, the PASOS Study represents the latest effort to further reduce the rates of childhood obesity.

PASOS, led by the Gasol Foundation in collaboration with IMIM (Instituto Hospital del Mar de Investigaciones Médicas), works with the Probitas Foundation as its main collaborator, as well as Banco Santander and Barça Foundation as health allies. PASOS also has the  institutional support of the Ministry of Education and Professional Training, the Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare through AESAN (Spanish Agency, Food Security and Nutrition), the High Commissioner against Child Poverty, the Higher Council of ‘Sports, the General School of Professional Associations of Physical Education and Sports, and the Ministries of Education and / or Health of the 17 Autonomous Communities.

Data collection

In order to carry out the PASOS Study, 14 research groups throughout the national territory of Spain are evaluating 4,508 children and teenagers ages 8 to 16 years old and their families. A total of 242 primary and secondary schools in Spain were randomly selected from 121 locations. This selection process ensures spatial representation and guarantees that any differences in the data are not systematic at the outset of the experiment; therefore, not affecting the final results that will be presented in September 2019. Currently, 212 schools have already confirmed their participation.

Travel to and from all school centers where the PASOS data collection takes place was made possible thanks to AR Motors,  the official Kia dealer in Barcelona, who provided Gasol Foundation staff with a Kia Sorento.

The methodology

The PASOS Study combines the collection of anthropometric data of minors and validated questionnaires that participating students answer through an online application at their school. The questionnaires pertain to lifestyle, educational level, and parents employment.

Additionally, the PASOS Study will calibrate the PAU-7S questionnaire, which evaluates physical activity levels and determines whether  children are receiving 60 minutes of daily moderate or vigorous physical activity recommended by the World Health Organization. The PAU-7S questionnaire accomplishes all this through 7 questions. To perform the calibration of this questionnaire, 10% of the children participating in the PASOS Study will carry an accelerometer for a total of 9 days. The accelerometer is a device worn on the wrist that monitors the intensity levels of physical activity, exercise patterns, and quality of sleep and rest.

Figures for childhood obesity

According to WHO, 340 million children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 19 worldwide suffer from obesity or being overweight. Specifically in Spain, obesity affects 18.1% of boys and girls ages 6 to 9 years old. Around 23.2% total are categorized as being overweight, according to data from the ALADÍ Study (2015).