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Moderate-To-vigorous physical activity is associated with decreases in body mass index from ages 9 to 15 years
- Published on March, 2013
PURPOSE: To determine whether time spent in objectively measured physical activity is associated with change in body mass index (BMI) from ages 9 to 15. DESIGN AND METHODS: The participants were enrolled in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (n = 938). At ages 9, 11, 12, and 15 the time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was objectively measured, and BMI was calculated (kg/m(2) ). Longitudinal quantile regression was used to analyze the data. The 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 90th BMI percentiles were modeled as the dependent variables with age and MVPA (h/day) modeled as predictors. Adjustment was also made for gender, race, sleep, healthy eating score, maternal education, and sedentary behavior. RESULTS: A negative association between MVPA and change in BMI was observed at the 90th BMI percentile (-3.57, 95% CI -5.15 to -1.99 kg/m(2) per hour of MVPA). The negative association between time spent in MVPA and change in BMI was progressively weaker toward the 10th BMI percentile (-0.27, 95% CI -0.62 to 0.07 kg/m(2) per hour of MVPA). The associations remained similar after adjusting for the covariates, and when the analyses were stratified by gender. CONCLUSION: Time spent in MVPA was negatively associated with change in BMI from age 9 to 15. The association was strongest at the upper tail of the BMI distribution, and increasing time spent in MVPA could help reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity.