The aim of this study was to examine whether adiposity level is associated with subsequent physical activity (PA) level in childhood.
Study participants were 326 children participating in the Iowa Bone Development Study. PA and fat mass were measured using accelerometers and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) at approximately 5, 8, and 11 yr. Data for relevant variables such as parents' education and PA levels and family income were also collected. Gender-specific generalized linear models were fit to examine the association between percentage body fat (%BF) at age 8 and intensity-weighted moderate- to vigorous-intensity PA (IW-MVPA) at age 11.
After adjusting for IW-MVPA at age 8, the interval between the age 8 and 11 examinations, residualized change scores of %BF and IW-MVPA from age 5 to 8, and mother's education level, %BF at age 8 was negatively associated with IW-MVPA at age 11 among boys (P < 0.05). After adjusting for IW-MVPA at age 8, physical maturity, and family income, %BF at age 8 was negatively associated with IW-MVPA at age 11 among girls (P < 0.05). Categorical data analysis also showed that the odds ratio (OR) of being in the lowest quartile relative to the highest quartile of IW-MVPA at age 11 for boys and girls with high %BF at age 8 were approximately four times higher than the OR for those with low %BF at age 8 (OR = 4.38, 95% CI = 1.05-18.24 for boys; OR = 4.48, 95% CI = 1.35-14.85 for girls).
This study suggests that adiposity level may be a determinant of PA behavior. Specific intervention strategies for overweight children may be needed to promote PA.
1Department of Health Studies, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL; 2Department of Health and Human Physiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA; 3Department of Epidemiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA; 4Department of Pediatrics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA; and 5Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Address for correspondence: Kathleen F. Janz, Ed.D., FACSM, 130 FH, Department of Health and Human Physiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242; E-mail: email@example.com.
Submitted for publication April 2010.
Accepted for publication June 2010.