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Association of physical activity with adiposity in preschoolers using different clinical adiposity measures: a cross-sectional study


Arhab, Amar; Messerli-Bürgy, Nadine; Kakebeeke, Tanja H; Stülb, Kerstin; Zysset, Annina; Leeger-Aschmann, Claudia S; Schmutz, Einat A; Meyer, Andrea H; Munsch, Simone; Kriemler, Susi; Jenni, Oskar G; Puder, Jardena J (2019). Association of physical activity with adiposity in preschoolers using different clinical adiposity measures: a cross-sectional study. BMC Pediatrics, 19:397.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
More research is needed about the association between physical activity (PA), sedentary behaviour (SB), and adiposity in preschoolers, particularly using more direct clinical measures of adiposity. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to investigate the association between objectively measured PA and different clinical adiposity measures in a large sample of preschoolers.
METHODS
Four hundred sixty-three predominantly normal-weight (77%) 2-6-year-old preschool children participated in the Swiss Preschoolers' Health Study (SPLASHY). Physical activity was measured using accelerometers and was analyzed using 15-s (uni-axial) epoch length using validated cut-offs. Adiposity measures included body mass index (BMI), the sum of four skinfolds, and waist circumference (WC). Multilevel linear regression modeling, adjusted for age, sex and wear time, was used to assess the association between PA and SB with BMI, WC, and skinfold thickness.
RESULTS
Total PA and different PA intensities were positively and SB was inversely associated with BMI in the total sample and in the normal-weight children (p < 0.05). Total PA was inversely associated with skinfold thickness in overweight and obese children (p < 0.05), while there was only a weak association for vigorous PA (p > 0.05). Moderate and moderate-to-vigorous PA were positively, and SB was negatively associated with WC in the total sample and in the normal-weight children (p < 0.05). Additional adjustment for potential sociocultural and biological confounding variables attenuated some of the results.
CONCLUSIONS
In this very young and predominantly normal-weight population, PA is positively related to BMI and WC, but this relationship is not observed in overweight and obese children. In this latter population, PA is inversely, and SB is positively related to skinfold thickness. Skinfold thickness could represent a useful and simple clinical measure of body fat in preschoolers. The role of vigorous PA in the prevention of early childhood obesity should be further investigated in future studies.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
More research is needed about the association between physical activity (PA), sedentary behaviour (SB), and adiposity in preschoolers, particularly using more direct clinical measures of adiposity. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to investigate the association between objectively measured PA and different clinical adiposity measures in a large sample of preschoolers.
METHODS
Four hundred sixty-three predominantly normal-weight (77%) 2-6-year-old preschool children participated in the Swiss Preschoolers' Health Study (SPLASHY). Physical activity was measured using accelerometers and was analyzed using 15-s (uni-axial) epoch length using validated cut-offs. Adiposity measures included body mass index (BMI), the sum of four skinfolds, and waist circumference (WC). Multilevel linear regression modeling, adjusted for age, sex and wear time, was used to assess the association between PA and SB with BMI, WC, and skinfold thickness.
RESULTS
Total PA and different PA intensities were positively and SB was inversely associated with BMI in the total sample and in the normal-weight children (p < 0.05). Total PA was inversely associated with skinfold thickness in overweight and obese children (p < 0.05), while there was only a weak association for vigorous PA (p > 0.05). Moderate and moderate-to-vigorous PA were positively, and SB was negatively associated with WC in the total sample and in the normal-weight children (p < 0.05). Additional adjustment for potential sociocultural and biological confounding variables attenuated some of the results.
CONCLUSIONS
In this very young and predominantly normal-weight population, PA is positively related to BMI and WC, but this relationship is not observed in overweight and obese children. In this latter population, PA is inversely, and SB is positively related to skinfold thickness. Skinfold thickness could represent a useful and simple clinical measure of body fat in preschoolers. The role of vigorous PA in the prevention of early childhood obesity should be further investigated in future studies.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health
Language:English
Date:31 October 2019
Deposited On:05 Dec 2019 07:47
Last Modified:11 May 2020 19:17
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2431
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12887-019-1764-4
Official URL:https://bmcpediatr.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s12887-019-1764-4
PubMed ID:31672126

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