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Differences in Energy Balance-Related Behaviours in European Preschool Children: The ToyBox-Study
Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
Medical University Varna, Varna, Bulgaria.
Medical University Varna, Varna, Bulgaria.
Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
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2015 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 10, no 3, article id e0118303Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The aim of the current study was to compare levels of energy balance-related behaviours (physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and dietary behaviours (more specifically water consumption, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and unhealthy snacking)) in four-to six-year-old preschoolers from six European countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Poland, and Spain) within the ToyBox cross-sectional study.

Methods: A sample of 4,045 preschoolers (4.77 +/- 0.43 years; 52.2% boys) had valid physical activity data (steps per day), parents of 8,117 preschoolers (4.78 +/- 0.46 years; 53.0% boys) completed a parental questionnaire with questions on sedentary behaviours (television viewing, computer use, and quiet play), and parents of 7,244 preschoolers (4.77 +/- 0.44 years; 52.0% boys) completed a food frequency questionnaire with questions on water consumption, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and unhealthy snacking.

Results: The highest levels of physical activity were found in Spain (12,669 steps/day on weekdays), while the lowest levels were found in Bulgaria and Greece (9,777 and 9,656 steps/day on weekdays, respectively). German preschoolers spent the least amount of time in television viewing (43.3 min/day on weekdays), while Greek preschoolers spent the most time in television viewing (88.5 min/day on weekdays). A considerable amount of time was spent in quiet play in all countries, with the highest levels in Poland (104.9 min/day on weekdays), and the lowest levels in Spain (60.4 min/day on weekdays). Belgian, German, and Polish preschoolers had the lowest intakes of water and the highest intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages. The intake of snacks was the highest in Belgian preschoolers (73.1 g/day) and the lowest in Greek preschoolers (53.3 g/day).

Conclusions: Across six European countries, differences in preschoolers' energy balance-related behaviours were found. Future interventions should target European preschoolers' energy balance-related behaviours simultaneously, but should apply country-specific adaptations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 10, no 3, article id e0118303
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-304869DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118303ISI: 000352138500026PubMedID: 25785738Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84925428112OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-304869DiVA, id: diva2:1034394
Note

Funding Agency:

European Commission 245200

Available from: 2015-05-25 Created: 2016-10-11 Last updated: 2017-11-29

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