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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Aug;23(8):1696-702. doi: 10.1002/oby.21152. Epub 2015 Jul 14.

Relationship between lifestyle behaviors and obesity in children ages 9-11: Results from a 12-country study.

Author information

  • 1Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.
  • 2Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada.
  • 3University of Helsinki, Finland.
  • 4St. Johns Research Institute, Bangalore, India.
  • 5UCT/MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
  • 6School of Health Sciences/Sansom Institute, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.
  • 7CIFI2D, Faculdade De Desporto, University of Porto, Portugal.
  • 8Centro De Estudos Do Laboratório De Aptidão Física De São Caetano Do Sul, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • 9Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • 10School of Medicine, Universidad De Los Andes, Bogota, Colombia.
  • 11University of Bath, UK.
  • 12Tianjin Women's and Children's Health Center, Tianjin, China.



The aim was to assess associations between lifestyle behaviors and obesity in a multinational study of children from 12 countries representing a wide range of human development.


The sample included 6,025 children 9-11 years of age. Behavioral risk factors included nocturnal sleep duration, moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), television viewing (TV time), and healthy and unhealthy diet pattern scores. Multilevel analyses were used to obtain odds ratios for obesity expressed per standard deviation of each behavioral risk factor.


The odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for obesity from multilevel, multivariable models were 0.79 (0.71-0.90) for nocturnal sleep duration, 0.52 (0.45-0.60) for MVPA, 1.15 (1.05-1.27) for TV time, 1.08 (0.96-1.20) for healthy diet score, and 0.93 (0.83-1.04) for unhealthy diet score in boys and 0.71 (0.63-0.80) for nocturnal sleep duration, 0.43 (0.35-0.53) for MVPA, 1.07 (0.96-1.19) for TV time, 1.05 (0.93-1.19) for healthy diet score, and 0.96 (0.82-1.11) for unhealthy diet score in girls.


Behavioral risk factors are important correlates of obesity in children, particularly low MVPA, short sleep duration, and high TV viewing.

© 2015 The Obesity Society.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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