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Age and time effects on children's lifestyle and overweight in Sweden

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Background: High physical activity, low sedentary behavior and low consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages can be markers of a healthy lifestyle. We aim to observe longitudinal changes and secular trends in these lifestyle variables as well as in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in 7-to-9-year-old schoolchildren related to gender and socioeconomic position. Methods: Three cross-sectional surveys were carried out on schoolchildren in grades 1 and 2 (7-to-9-year-olds) in 2008 (n∈=∈833), 2010 (n∈=∈1085), and 2013 (n∈=∈1135). Information on children's level of physical activity, sedentary behavior, diet, and parent's education level was collected through parental questionnaires. Children's height and weight were also measured. Longitudinal measurements were carried out on a subsample (n∈=∈678) which was included both in 2008 (7-to-9-year-olds) and 2010 (9-to-11-year-olds). BMI was used to classify children into overweight (including obese) and obese based on the International Obesity Task Force reference. Questionnaire reported maternal education level was used as a proxy for socioeconomic position (SEP). Results: Longitudinally, consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages ≥4 days/week increased from 7% to 16% in children with low SEP. Overall, sedentary behavior >4 hours/day doubled from 14% to 31% (p∈




Moraeus, L., Lissner, L., Olsson, L., & Sjöberg, A. (2015). Age and time effects on children’s lifestyle and overweight in Sweden. BMC Public Health, 15(1).

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