Determinants of Childhood Adiposity: Evidence from the Australian LOOK Study

Telford,R.D., Cunningham,R.B., Telford,R.M., Riley,M. and Abhayaratna,W.P. (2012) PLoS One 7:e50014

Objective: To investigate the associations of adiposity with energy intake and PA in a sample of healthy community-based Australian children

Design: Cross-sectional

Setting: Part of the multidisciplinary Lifestyle of our Kids (LOOK) project.

Participants: 734 boys and girls measured at ages 8, 10 and 12 y

Main outcome measures: Cross-sectional and prospective relationships examining %body fat (DEXA), PA (pedometers at ages 8,10 and 12 and accelerometers at age 12), and dietary intake (1 day records at age 8, 2 days at age 12). Measured height and weight. Relationships were adjusted for socioeconomic status, pubertal development and variation in PE programs in school. When assessing the relationship between %BF and PA, adjustments were made for diet, and vice versa.

Results: Cross-sectional relationships between %BF and PA (pedometer) were negative in both sexes (i.e. higher %BF for the less active). This negative relationship between %BF and PA held when PA was measured by accelerometer at age 12. There were no positive relationships between any of the dietary measures (energy, fat, CHO or sugar) and %BF.
Longitudinal relationships revealed a significant negative relationship between %BF and PA (pedometer) but only when both sexes were combined. There were no longitudinal relationships between dietary characteristics and %BF.

Conclusions: Provides support that PA is the main source of variation in %BF of healthy community-based Australian children.

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