OBJECTIVE: To analyze associations between levels of physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, dietary content, and risk factors that cause a predisposition towards cardiovascular disease. METHODS: Sixty-two individuals aged between 20 and 45 years were evaluated. Levels of physical activity were established by estimates of energy demand corresponding to everyday activity; indices for cardiorespiratory fitness were obtained from estimates of maximal oxygen consumption; information about dietary content was obtained from dietary records kept on seven consecutive days. To indicate risk factors that cause a predisposition towards cardiovascular disease, use was made of body mass indexes, waist-hip circumference relationships, levels of arterial pressure and of plasma lipid-lipoprotein concentration. To establish associations between the variables studied, multiple regression analysis was used. RESULTS: Physical activity levels and cardiorespiratory fitness levels were inversely correlated with the amount and distribution of body fat and arterial pressure. Taken together, the two variables were responsible for between 16% and 19% of the variation in arterial pressure. Total and saturated fat ingestion was associated with higher serum lipid levels. Both dietary components were responsible for between 49% and 61% of the variation in LDL-cholesterol. CONCLUSION: High ingestion of food rich in total and saturated fat and decreased levels of physical activity and of cardiorespiratory fitness are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, which supports previous data.