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Physical activity is low in obese New Zealand children and adolescents

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Abstract

We aimed to describe physical activity and sedentary behaviour of obese children and adolescents in Taranaki, New Zealand, and to determine how these differ in Māori (indigenous) versus non-indigenous children. Participants (n = 239; 45% Māori, 45% New Zealand European [NZE], 10% other ethnicities) aged 4.8-16.8 years enrolled in a community-based obesity programme from January 2012 to August 2014 who had a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 98th percentile (n = 233) or >91st-98th percentile with weight-related comorbidities (n = 6) were assessed. Baseline activity levels were assessed using the children's physical activity questionnaire (C-PAQ), a fitness test, and ≥3 days of accelerometer wear. Average BMI standard deviation score was 3.09 (SD = 0.60, range 1.52-5.34 SDS). Reported median daily activity was 80 minutes (IQR = 88). Although 44% of the cohort met the national recommended screen time of <2 hours per day, the mean screen time was longer at 165 minutes (SD = 135). Accelerometer data (n = 130) showed low physical activity time (median 34 minutes [IQR = 29]). Only 18.5% of the total cohort met national recommended physical activity guidelines of 60 minutes per day. There were minimal ethnic differences. In conclusion, obese children/adolescents in this cohort had low levels of physical activity. The vast majority are not meeting national physical activity recommendations.

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Anderson, Y. C., Wynter, L. E., Grant, C. C., Stewart, J. M., Cave, T. L., Wild, C. E. K., … Hofman, P. L. (2017). Physical activity is low in obese New Zealand children and adolescents. Scientific Reports, 7. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep41822

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