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Obes Facts. 2012;5(1):23-33. doi: 10.1159/000336603. Epub 2012 Mar 2.

Differences in aerobic fitness and lifestyle characteristics in preschoolers according to their weight status and sports club participation.

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  • 1Institute of Sports Sciences, University of Lausanne, Route de Chavannes 33, Lausanne, Switzerland. vincent.ebenegger@unil.ch

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study assesses differences in adiposity, aerobic fitness, and lifestyle characteristics in preschoolers according to their weight status and sports club (SC) participation.

METHOD:

As part of the Ballabeina study, 600 randomly selected preschoolers (mean age 5.1 ± 0.6 years; 50.2% girls) were analyzed. Body composition was measured by bioelectrical impedance, aerobic fitness by the 20-meter shuttle run test, and physical activity by accelerometers. Eating habits, media use, and SC participation were assessed by questionnaires.

RESULTS:

Overweight children (Swiss national percentiles) and children not participating in SC had both lower aerobic fitness and higher % body fat compared to their respective counterparts (all p ≤ 0.028). In addition, children not participating in SC were less physically active, had more media use, and ate less healthy compared to children participating in SC (all p ≤ 0.023). Controlling for parental sociocultural determinants attenuated differences in % body fat, in physical activity, and in eating habits.

CONCLUSION:

Aerobic fitness differs both according to weight status and SC participation in preschoolers. Furthermore, in view of the many differences in lifestyle behaviors, SC participation at this age could represent a more discriminatory indicator of healthy lifestyle characteristics than weight status.

Copyright © 2012 S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg.

PMID:
22433614
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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