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Am J Prev Med. 2007 Feb;32(2):124-30. Epub 2006 Dec 29.

Patterns and correlates of physical activity and nutrition behaviors in adolescents.

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  • 1Primary Care Research Unit of Bizkaia, Basque Health Service--Osakidetza, Bilbao, Spain. alvarospv@ap.osakidetza.net

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Knowledge of the prevalence, clustering, and correlates of multiple adolescent health behaviors can inform the design of health promotion interventions.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional design was used to assess 878 adolescents aged 11 to 15 years (53.6% girls, 58% non-Hispanic white) recruited in primary care clinics in 2001-2002. Adolescent physical activity (assessed with accelerometers), television viewing time (reported), percent calories from fat, and servings of fruits and vegetables (assessed with multiple 24-hour recalls) were dichotomized into meeting or not meeting national guidelines. Parent health behaviors were assessed with self-reported measures. Analyses were conducted in 2006.

RESULTS:

Fifty-five percent of adolescents did not meet the physical activity guideline, and 30% exceeded 2 hours daily of television viewing time, with boys more active and less sedentary than girls (p <0.01). The majority of the adolescents did not meet dietary guidelines. Nearly 80% had multiple risk behaviors and only 2% met all four guidelines. The number of risk behaviors was associated with being older and being at risk for overweight or being overweight, for boys and girls (p <0.05). Two parent health behaviors-history of smoking and failure to meet the fruits and vegetables guideline-were significantly associated with a higher number of risk behaviors for girls (p <0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Eight of ten adolescents in this sample failed to meet guidelines for two or more diet, physical activity, and sedentary risk behaviors. Some parent health behaviors, along with the adolescent's weight status and age, were associated with a higher number of adolescent health risk behaviors.

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