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WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative: health-risk behaviours on nutrition and physical activity in 6-9-year-old schoolchildren
Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Promoting Health through the Life-Course, WHO Regional Office for Europe, UN City, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Centre for Nutrition, Prevention and Health Services, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands; Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Örebro universitet, Restaurang- och hotellhögskolan.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7165-279X
Department of Food and Nutrition and Sport Science, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
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2015 (English)In: Public Health Nutrition, ISSN 1368-9800, E-ISSN 1475-2727, Vol. 18, no 17, 3108-3124 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE: To assess to what extent eight behavioural health risks related to breakfast and food consumption and five behavioural health risks related to physical activity, screen time and sleep duration are present among schoolchildren, and to examine whether health-risk behaviours are associated with obesity.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional design as part of the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (school year 2007/2008). Children's behavioural data were reported by their parents and children's weight and height measured by trained fieldworkers. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analyses were performed.

SETTING: Primary schools in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Portugal and Sweden; paediatric clinics in the Czech Republic.

SUBJECTS: Nationally representative samples of 6-9-year-olds (n 15 643).

RESULTS: All thirteen risk behaviours differed statistically significantly across countries. Highest prevalence estimates of risk behaviours were observed in Bulgaria and lowest in Sweden. Not having breakfast daily and spending screen time ≥2 h/d were clearly positively associated with obesity. The same was true for eating 'foods like pizza, French fries, hamburgers, sausages or meat pies' >3 d/week and playing outside <1 h/d. Surprisingly, other individual unhealthy eating or less favourable physical activity behaviours showed either no or significant negative associations with obesity. A combination of multiple less favourable physical activity behaviours showed positive associations with obesity, whereas multiple unhealthy eating behaviours combined did not lead to higher odds of obesity.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite a categorization based on international health recommendations, individual associations of the thirteen health-risk behaviours with obesity were not consistent, whereas presence of multiple physical activity-related risk behaviours was clearly associated with higher odds of obesity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press , 2015. Vol. 18, no 17, 3108-3124 p.
Keyword [en]
Europe; Food consumption; Obesity; Physical activity; Schoolchildren
National Category
Nutrition and Dietetics Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Nutrition; Public health; Culinary Arts and Meal Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-304954DOI: 10.1017/S1368980015001937ISI: 000365029500006PubMedID: 26132808ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84949322098OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-304954DiVA: diva2:1034298
Swedish Research Council

Funding Agencies:

Ministry of Health, the National Center of Public Health and Analyses

Internal Grant Agency of the Ministry of Health IGA NT/13735-4

Lithuanian State Science and Studies Foundation

Lithuanian University of Health Sciences

Research Council of Lithuania SIN-17/2012

Ministry of Health and Regional Health Directorates

Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

Directorate-General for Health of Portugal

National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge in Lisbon, Portugal

National Institute of Health in Rome, Italy

Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, Norway

Hellenic Medical Association for Obesity in Athens, Greece

Directorate-General for Health of France

Karolinska Institute in Huddinge, Sweden

Regional Health Inspectorates

Available from: 2015-07-22 Created: 2016-10-11 Last updated: 2016-10-11

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Wijnhoven, Trudy MaYngve, Agneta
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