Healthy-lifestyle behaviors associated with overweight and obesity in US rural children Full Text
BMC Pediatrics, 07/20/2012
Tovar A et al. – Rural children are not meeting recommendations to improve diet, reduce screen time and obtain adequate sleep. Although they expected obese children to be more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors, they found the opposite to be true. It is possible that these groups of respondent parents were highly aware of their weight status and have been advised to change their children's health behaviors. Perhaps given the opportunity to participate in an intervention study in combination with a physician recommendation could have resulted in actual behavior change.Methods
- A cross-sectional analysis was conducted on a sample of school-aged children (6-11 years) in rural regions of California, Kentucky, Mississippi, and South Carolina participating in CHANGE (Creating Healthy, Active, and Nurturing Growing-up Environments) Program whose objective was to reduce unhealthy weight gain in school-aged children (grades 1-6) in rural America created by Save the Children (an independent organization that works with communities to improve overall child health).
- After measuring children's height and weight, they assessed overweight and obesity (BMI [greater than or equal to] 85th percentile) associations with these behaviors: improving diet quality (>2 servings of fruits and vegetables/day), reducing whole milk, sweetened beverage consumption/day; obtaining adequate night-time sleep on weekdays ([greater than or equal to] 10 hours/night); limiting screen-time (i.e., television, video, computer, videogame) viewing on weekdays ([less than or equal to]2 hours/day); and consulting a physician about weight.
- Analyses were adjusted for state of residence, children's race/ethnicity, gender, age, and government assistance.
- Overweight or obesity prevalence was 37 percent in Mississippi and nearly 60 percent in Kentucky.
- Adjusting for covariates, obese children were twice as likely to eat > 2 servings of vegetables per day, less likely to consume whole milk, more likely to be told by their doctor that their child was obese, and less likely for their parents to report talking to their child about fruits and vegetables a lot/sometimes vs. not very much/never compared to healthy-weight children.