Activity profiles and the associations with weight status in population studies of young children: are there gender differences?
Dowd, Kieran P.
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Purpose: Profiling activity behaviors in young children is important to understand changes in weight status over time. The purpose of this study is to identify activity profiles from self- and parental-reported Physical Activity (PA) and Sedentary Behavior (SB) variables by gender, and determine if the identified profiles are predictive of weight change from age 9–13 years. Methods: Cluster analysis was used to generate activity profiles for the National Longitudinal Study of 8570 9-year-old children (Growing Up in Ireland). Results: 5.4% of boys were found to be obese. Four cohesive activity profiles were identified for boys, with 7.3% of boys in the least active group identified as obese compared with 4.1% in the most active group. The odds of a normal weight 9-year-old boy in the least active profile becoming overweight or obese at age 13 were over twice those in most active profile (OR = 2.5, 95% CI: 1.9, 3.5). No coherent activity profiles were identified for girls. Conclusions: This study suggests that self- and parental-reported data can identify meaningful activity profiles for boys, which are predictive of weight changes over time. Future research should consider potential gender differences in self- and parental-reported PA and SB variables.
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