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Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Adiposity in English Children

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Laura BasterfieldORCiD, Professor Mark PearceORCiD, Professor Ashley AdamsonORCiD, Parimala Saminathan, Dr Kathryn Parkinson, Dr Margaret Wright, Jessica Reilly


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Background: 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. Purpose: To assess relationships between 2-year changes in objectively measured physical activity, sedentary behavior, and adiposity in English children. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: Avoiding mid-late childhood reductions in MVPA may reduce excessive fat gain, although such strategies may have greater impact on boys than girls. (Am J Prev Med 2012;42(5):445-451) (C) 2012 American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Publication metadata

Author(s): Basterfield L, Pearce MS, Adamson AJ, Frary JK, Parkinson KN, Wright CM, Reilly JJ, Gateshead Millennium Study Core Team

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Year: 2012

Volume: 42

Issue: 5

Pages: 445-451

Print publication date: 16/04/2012

ISSN (print): 0749-3797

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2607

Publisher: Elsevier Inc.


DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.01.007


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Funder referenceFunder name
Cancer Research UK
Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Government Health Directorates
Economic and Social Research Council
Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
National Prevention Research Initiative
Research and Development Office for the Northern Ireland Health and Social Services
Wear NHS Trust
Welsh Assembly Government
British Heart Foundation
Department of Health
Diabetes UK
Food Standards Agency
Gateshead Education Authority
Gateshead NHS Trust RD
Henry Smith Charity and Sport Aiding Research in Kids (SPARKS)
Medical Research Council
Northern and Yorkshire NHS RD
World Cancer Research Fund
CZH/4/484Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Government Health Directorates