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Research In Childhood Obesity In Children Highlights Physical Activity Levels


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Old 03-31-2007, 07:35 AM   post no: 1

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Default Research In Childhood Obesity In Children Highlights Physical Activity Levels

A British study, involving 5,500 children and published in the latest issue of PLoS Medicine, used accurate methods to measure the 'fat mass' of the children and the amount of physical activity they were taking. The researchers, based at the University of Bristol, concluded that low levels of activity, particularly moderate and vigorous activity, play an important role in the development of obesity.

While it would appear to be commonsense that anyone who is overweight or obese has been doing less physical activity than other people, body fat and energy expenditure are both hard to measure accurately. It has not therefore been clear which factor - eating too much or doing too little - is most responsible for the rising prevalence of obesity. The researchers employed advanced techniques - an Actigraph accelerometer for activity and an X-ray emission absorptiometry scanner for fat mass. They considered that the top 10% of the children in terms of fat mass were obese.

The results show consistently that the lower the level of children's activity the higher their fat mass. The effect was stronger in boys than in girls. The statistical association was found to be greater for moderate and vigorous activity than for total activity. While the researchers acknowledge their work to have some limitations, they urge that encouraging greater activity, especially moderate and vigorous activity, should be a key part of policies to address the obesity epidemic.

The research was part of the long-term Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, which is looking at many different aspects of health.


Everything published by PLoS Medicine is Open Access: freely available for anyone to read, download, redistribute and otherwise use, as long as the authorship is properly attributed.

Citation: Ness AR, Leary SD, Mattocks C, Blair SN, Reilly JJ, et al. (2007) Objectively measured physical activity and fat mass in a large cohort of children. PLoS Med 4(3): e97.

Andy Ness
University of Bristol
Department of Social Medicine
24 Tyndall Avenue
Bristol, BS8 1TQ

Contact: Sarah Clark
Public Library of Science

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Old 11-25-2010, 09:18 PM   post no: 2
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Default Research In Childhood Obesity In Children Highlights Physical Activity Levels

Interesting. Was the methodology vigorous, and were validity and reliability ensured?

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Old 01-05-2012, 07:50 AM   post no: 3

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Default Research In Childhood Obesity In Children Highlights Physical Activity Levels


Contact Gordon Watt at Glasgow Caledonian University as he has dedicated his research to school children. I do not have his email but you could enquire at <podadmissionsgcal.ac.uk > Or maybe someone on this list can give you his contact details. Peter Thompson is another good contact and has written a book on podopaediatrics published by Churchill Livingstone


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