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Abstract 2010; 21:57-63

Weight status, modes of travel to school and screen time: a cross-sectional survey of children aged 10-13 years in Sydney

by Li Ming Wen, Dafna Merom, Chris Rissel and Judy M. Simpson

Abstract

Issue addressed: The relationship between weight status and modes of travel to school and screen time of children is not clearly understood. This study aims to explore these relationships of Australian children aged 10-13 years.

Method: Weight and height, modes of travel to school and screen time of 1,362 children were reported by their parents. The international standard age adjusted BMI (weight/height2) was used to classify children’s weight status. Factors associated with overweight and obesity were determined by logistic regression modelling.

Results: Twenty-one per cent of children were classified as overweight or obese and 36% went to school by car daily. Compared with children who were driven to school daily, children who walked to school daily were significantly less likely to be obese, with an adjusted odds ratio (AOR) of 0.20 (95%CI 0.16 to 0.74; p=0.05). Children whose screen time was more than two hours a day were also more likely to be obese (AOR 3.5, 95%CI 1.13 to 8.26; p=0.03) than those who spent less than one hour a day watching a screen.

Conclusions: This study suggests that being driven to school daily and longer screen time are associated with children’s obesity.

Key words: Overweight and obesity, screen time, walking, children.

Health Promotion Journal of Australia 2010; 21:57-63

So What

It is possible to promote healthy weight for children by encouraging an active journey to school and reducing their screen time.
 

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