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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2008 Mar;18(3):242-51. Epub 2007 Dec 20.

Sedentary behaviour and obesity development in children and adolescents.

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  • 1HELENA Study Group, School of Health Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Edificio Cervantes, 2nd floor, C/Corona de Aragón 42, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain.

Abstract

Sedentary lifestyle patterns in children and adolescents, i.e. playing digital games, using computers and especially watching television, have been associated with obesity. However, not all sedentary behaviour has shown the same relevance to, and relationship with, obesity. Therefore, we conducted a review including published studies found in PubMed and other medical journals, dated between January 1990 and April 2007. The ages of the children and adolescents who were the object of the study ranged between 2 and 18 years. For the purpose of this paper, we selected cross-sectional, longitudinal and intervention studies. Sufficient evidence exists to recommend setting a limit to the time spent watching TV, especially for younger children. However, video games and computers do not represent such a high risk compared to watching TV, when they do not replace physical activity too much. In fact, there is no evidence to suggest that sedentary behaviour displaces physical activity levels. Mechanisms that explain the link between sedentariness and obesity are also discussed. Finally, future studies should take into account important mediators such as socioeconomic status and family structure.

PMID:
18083016
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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