This study prospectively investigates associations between youth moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) and body composition in young adult women using data from the Dietary Intervention Study in Children (DISC) and the DISC06 Follow-Up Study. MVPA was assessed by questionnaire on 5 occasions between the ages 8 and 18 years and at age 25-29 years in 215 DISC female participants. Using whole body dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), overall adiposity and body fat distribution were assessed at age 25-29 years by percent body fat (%fat) and android-to-gynoid (A:G) fat ratio, respectively. Linear mixed effects models and generalized linear latent and mixed models were used to assess associations of youth MVPA with both outcomes. Young adult MVPA, adjusted for other young adult characteristics, was significantly inversely associated with young adult %fat (%fat decreased from 37.4% in the lowest MVPA quartile to 32.8% in the highest (p-trend = 0.02)). Adjusted for youth and young adult characteristics including young adult MVPA, youth MVPA also was significantly inversely associated with young adult %fat (β=-0.40 per 10 MET-hrs/wk, p = .02) . No significant associations between MVPA and A:G fat ratio were observed. Results suggest that youth and young adult MVPA are important independent predictors of adiposity in young women.
Hodge and Hovinga are with the Dept. of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA. Shepherd is with the Dept. of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California, San Francisco, CA. Egleston is with the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA. Gabriel is with the Health Science Center, University of Texas, San Antonio, TX. Van Horn is with the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. Robson is with the Dept. of Nephrology, Children’s Hospital, New Orleans, New Orleans, LA. Snetselaar is with the Dept. of Epidemiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA. Stevens is with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Portland, OR. Jung and Dorgan are with the Dept. of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD.