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Eat Weight Disord. 2006 Sep;11(3):e102-8.

Association of depression with Body Mass Index, sedentary behavior, and maladaptive eating attitudes and behaviors in 11 to 13-year old children.

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Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA.


We examined the relation of different behavioral dimensions of depression with weight-related variables (BMI percentile, sedentary behavior, eating attitudes, and weight control behaviors) in children aged 11 to 13 years. Depression was assessed using the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI). Sedentary behavior was measured in 45 sixth grade students (23 boys and 22 girls) using a validated 24-hour recall instrument, the Self-Administered Physical Activity Checklist. BMI was calculated directly from measured height and weight (kg/m2). The Children's Eating Attitudes Test (ChEAT) was used to measure eating attitudes and weight control behaviors. There were not significant gender differences in reported minutes (142 vs. 91 minutes for boys vs. girls; p=0.25) of sedentary behavior (i.e., television watching and video game playing). The major finding of this study was that certain aspects of depression (i.e., interpersonal problems and feelings of ineffectiveness) were correlated with higher levels of sedentary behavior in children aged 11 to 13. A factor analysis of the study variables indicated that most dimensions of depression, sedentary behavior, and body size represent distinct but correlated behavioral dimensions. This study provides support for a link between specific aspects of depression (i.e., interpersonal problems and feelings of ineffectiveness) and sedentary behavior in children.

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