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Original Research A Methodological Model for Collecting High-Quality Data on Physical Activity in Developing Settings—The Experience of the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort Study

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Background: Prospective studies on physical activity (PA), diet, and body composition in adolescents are lacking, particularly outside high-income countries. Goals: To describe the methods used to assess these variables in the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort and to dis­cuss the fieldwork challenges faced and alterna­tives to overcome them. Methods: In 2006–07 a subsample of the 1993 Pelotas cohort was revis­ited. PA was estimated using questionnaires, a combined heart-rate and motion sensor (Acti-Heart), and the ActiGraph GT1M accelerome­ter. Diet was investigated by questionnaire. Total body water was determined by stable isotopes. Thirty individuals had their total energy expen­diture assessed by doubly labeled water. All data were collected at participants’ home. Results: The logistics of the fieldwork and the difficul­ties in undertaking the study and alternatives to overcome them are presented. Preliminary anal­yses show that 511 individuals were traced (response rate = 90.0%). Compliance of both adolescents and their families for the motion sensors and body-composition measurements was excellent. Conclusions: The authors con­clude that it is feasible to carry out high-quality studies on PA in developing countries. They hope the article will be useful to other research­ers interested in carrying out similar studies.

Authors: Ana Maria Batista Menezes, Jonathan Charles Kingdom Wells, Ulf Ekelund, Fabiane Machado Rodrigues, Pedro Curi Hallal

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