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Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Feb;81(2):361-6.

Influence of changes in sedentary behavior on energy and macronutrient intake in youth.

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Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214-3000, USA.



Changes in sedentary behavior may be related to changes in energy intake.


The purpose of this study was to investigate how experimental changes in the amount of sedentary behaviors influence energy intake.


Sixteen nonoverweight 12-16-y-old youth were studied in a within-subject crossover design with three 3-wk phases: baseline, increasing targeted sedentary behaviors by 25-50% (increase phase), and decreasing targeted sedentary behaviors by 25-50% (decrease phase). Repeated 24-h recalls were used to assess energy and macronutrient intakes during targeted sedentary behaviors. Accelerometers were used to assess activity levels.


Targeted sedentary behaviors increased by 81.5 min/d (45.8%) and decreased by 109.8 min/d (-61.2%) from baseline (both: P<0.01). Girls increased sedentary behaviors significantly more than did boys (107.3 and 55.8 min/d, respectively; P<0.01) in the increase phase. Energy intake decreased (-463.0 kcal/d; P<0.01) when sedentary behaviors decreased: the decrease in fat intake was -295.2 kcal/d (P<0.01). No significant changes in energy intake were observed when sedentary behaviors were increased. Youth also increased their activity by 102.4 activity counts min-1d-1 (estimated at 113.1 kcal) when sedentary behaviors were decreased (P<0.05).


Decreasing sedentary behaviors can decrease energy intake in nonoverweight adolescent youth and should be considered an important component of interventions to prevent obesity and to regulate body weight.

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