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Physical activity, sedentary behavior, and adiposity in English children

Basterfield, Laura and Pearce, Mark and Adamson, Ashley and Frary, Jessica and Parkinson, Kathryn and Wright, Charlotte and Reilly, John J (2012) Physical activity, sedentary behavior, and adiposity in English children. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 42 (5). pp. 445-451. ISSN 0749-3797

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Abstract

The importance of variation in total volume of physical activity or moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) to development of body fatness in childhood is unclear, and it is unclear if physical activity has a greater influence on adiposity in boys than girls. To assess relationships between 2-year changes in objectively measured physical activity, sedentary behavior, and adiposity in English children. Prospective cohort study, set in Northeast England, of a socioeconomically representative sample of 403 children. Measures were change in accelerometer-determined physical activity and sedentary behavior from age 7 to 9 years (data collected 2006/2007 and 2008/2009; analyzed in 2010) and concurrent change in adiposity (fat mass index derived from bioelectric impedance) and change in BMI Z-score. Decline in MVPA was associated with a greater increase in fat mass index in boys but not girls. Declining MVPA was associated with increased BMI Z-score in boys but not girls. Increased sedentary behavior was not associated with increased BMI Z-score in either gender. Avoiding mid–late childhood reductions in MVPA may reduce excessive fat gain, although such strategies may have greater impact on boys than girls.