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      Differences in Weight Status and Energy-Balance Related Behaviors among Schoolchildren across Europe: The ENERGY-Project

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          Abstract

          Background

          Current data on the prevalence of overweight and energy-balance behaviors among European children is necessary to inform overweight prevention interventions.

          Methodology/Principal Findings

          A school-based survey among 10–12 year old children was conducted in seven European countries using a standardized protocol. Weight, height, and waist circumference were measured; Engagement in physical activity, sedentary and dietary behaviors, and sleep duration were self-reported. Descriptive analyses were conducted, looking at differences according to country, gender, and parental education. 7234 children (52%girls; 11.6±0.7 years) participated. 25.8% and 5.4% of boys, and 21.8% and 4.1% of girls were overweight (including obese) and obese (according to International Obesity Task Force criteria), respectively. Higher prevalence of overweight/obesity was observed in Greece, Hungary, Slovenia and Spain than in Belgium, Netherlands and Norway. Large differences between countries were found in intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages, breakfast, active transport, TV and computer time. More favorable overweight status and behavior patterns were found in girls than boys and in children of higher educated parents than in children of lower educated parents.

          Conclusions/Significance

          High levels and striking differences in overweight status and potential risk behaviors were found among schoolchildren across Europe.

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          Most cited references 31

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          A review of correlates of physical activity of children and adolescents.

          Understanding the factors that influence physical activity can aid the design of more effective interventions. Previous reviews of correlates of youth physical activity have produced conflicting results. A comprehensive review of correlates of physical activity was conducted, and semiquantitative results were summarized separately for children (ages 3-12) and adolescents (ages 13-18). The 108 studies evaluated 40 variables for children and 48 variables for adolescents. About 60% of all reported associations with physical activity were statistically significant. Variables that were consistently associated with children's physical activity were sex (male), parental overweight status, physical activity preferences, intention to be active, perceived barriers (inverse), previous physical activity, healthy diet, program/facility access, and time spent outdoors. Variables that were consistently associated with adolescents' physical activity were sex (male), ethnicity (white), age (inverse), perceived activity competence, intentions, depression (inverse), previous physical activity, community sports, sensation seeking, sedentary after school and on weekends (inverse), parent support, support from others, sibling physical activity, direct help from parents, and opportunities to exercise. These consistently related variables should be confirmed in prospective studies, and interventions to improve the modifiable variables should be developed and evaluated.
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            Do obese children become obese adults? A review of the literature.

            Obese children may be at increased risk of becoming obese adults. To examine the relationship between obesity in childhood and obesity in adulthood, we reviewed the epidemiologic literature published between 1970 and July 1992. Comparison between studies was complicated by differences in study design, definitions of obesity, and analytic methods used. Although the correlations between anthropometric measures of obesity in childhood and those in adulthood varied considerably among studies, the associations were consistently positive. About a third (26 to 41%) of obese preschool children were obese as adults, and about half (42 to 63%) of obese school-age children were obese as adults. For all studies and across all ages, the risk of adult obesity was at least twice as high for obese children as for nonobese children. The risk of adult obesity was greater for children who were at higher levels of obesity and for children who were obese at older ages. The wide range of estimates in this literature are, in part, due to differences in study designs, definitions of obesity, ages at which participants were measured, intervals between measurements, and population and cultural differences.
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              Is sleep duration associated with childhood obesity? A systematic review and meta-analysis.

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1932-6203
                2012
                25 April 2012
                : 7
                : 4
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
                [2 ]Department of Public and Occupational Health and EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
                [3 ]Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
                [4 ]Department of Nutrition, University of Oslo, Norway
                [5 ]Department of Public Health, Sport and Nutrition, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway
                [6 ]Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece
                [7 ]Department of Public Health, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
                [8 ]GENUD (Growth, Exercise, Nutrition and Development) Research Group. E.U. Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Zaragoza, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
                [9 ]Slovenian Heart Foundation, Ljubljana, Slovenia
                [10 ]Department of Paediatrics, Pecs University, Pecs, Hungary
                [11 ]IASO, International Association for the Study of Obesity, London, United Kingdom
                University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: JB STV AS MC EB YM. Performed the experiments: JB MVS STV MC IDB NL EB VM AS L. Maes L. Moreno NJ EK TL YM. Analyzed the data: JB MVS STV. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: JB MVS STV MC IDB NL EB VM AS L. Maes L. Moreno NJ EK TL YM. Wrote the paper: JB. Provided feedback on drafts of the manuscript: MVS STV MC IDB NL EB VM AS L. Maes L. Moreno NJ EK TL YM.

                Article
                PONE-D-11-23400
                10.1371/journal.pone.0034742
                3338827
                22558098
                Brug et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Page count
                Pages: 13
                Categories
                Research Article
                Medicine
                Global Health
                Nutrition
                Obesity
                Pediatrics
                Public Health
                Behavioral and Social Aspects of Health
                Child Health
                Preventive Medicine
                Socioeconomic Aspects of Health
                Sports and Exercise Medicine

                Uncategorized

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