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Open access

Chiaki Tanaka, Shigeho Tanaka, Shigeru Inoue, Motohiko Miyachi, Koya Suzuki and John J. Reilly

Background:

The Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth aims to consolidate existing evidence, encourage greater evidence-informed physical activity, and improve surveillance of physical activity.

Methods:

The Japan report card followed the methodology of the Canadian and Scottish report cards, but was adapted to reflect the Japanese context. Nationally representative data were used to score each of the respective indicators.

Results:

The 2016 Japan Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth consists of Health Behaviors and Outcomes (7 indicators), and Influences on Health Behaviors (4 indicators). Three Health Behaviors and Outcomes received C grades (Participation in Sport; Sedentary Behavior; Recreational Screen Time; Physical Fitness), while 2 indicators could not be graded (Overall Physical Activity, and Active Play). The indicators Active Transportation (B) and Weight Status were favorable (A). In the Influences domain, Family Influence and Community and the Built Environment were graded as D, while School and Government Strategies and Investments were favorable (B).

Conclusions:

The Japan report card illustrated some favorable health behaviors, health outcomes, and influences. There is a need for more evidence especially on overall physical activity levels, active play, and community and the built environment.

Open access

Vincent O. Onywera, Stella K. Muthuri, Sylvester Hayker, Lucy-Joy M. Wachira, Florence Kyallo, Robert O. Mang’eni, Peter Bukhala and Caleb Mireri

Background:

Kenya’s 2016 report card aimed to highlight the health and well-being of Kenyan children and youth using the best available evidence on the physical activity of Kenyan children and youth. The report pointed at areas where Kenya was succeeding and areas where more action is required.

Methods:

Inclusive analyses of available data sources on the core indicators related to physical activity and body weights of Kenyan children and youth (5 to 17 years) were conducted. These were assigned grades based on a set of specific criteria.

Results:

Results show that Active Play, Active Transportation, Overweight and Obesity, and Sedentary Behavior were favorable with a grade of B. Overall Physical Activity, Organized Sport Participation, and School (infrastructure, policies, and programs) each received a grade of C, while Family and Peers, Government and Nongovernment organizations, as well as the Community and the Built Environment were assigned grade D.

Conclusions:

Over 72% of Kenyan children and youth use active transportation to and from school and in their daily lives. Although majority of the children and youth have normal body weight, there is need to ensure that they meet and maintain the physical activity levels recommended by the World Health Organization. More needs to be done especially in relation to the governmental and nongovernmental organizations, organized sports participation, as well as involvement of family and peers in promoting healthy active lifestyles among Kenyan children and youth. More representative data for all indicators are required in Kenya.

Open access

Razinah Sharif, Kar Hau Chong, Nur Hadiyani Zakaria, Min Li Ong, John J. Reilly, Jyh Eiin Wong, Hazizi Abu Saad and Bee Koon Poh

Background:

The 2016 Malaysia Active Healthy Kids Report Card aims to collect, assess, and grade current and comprehensive data on physical activity (PA) and associated factors in Malaysian children and adolescents aged 5 to 17 years.

Methods:

This report card was developed following the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card protocol. The Research Working Group identified the core matrices, assessed the key data sources, and evaluated the evidence gathered for grade assignments. A grade was assigned to each indicator by comparing the best available evidence against relevant benchmark using a standardized grading scheme.

Results:

Overall Physical Activity, Active Transportation, and Sedentary Behavior were assigned the D grade. The lowest grade of F was assigned to Diet, while School and Government Strategies and Investments were graded higher with a B. Five indicators were assigned INC (incomplete) due to a lack of representative data.

Conclusions:

The report card demonstrates that Malaysian children and adolescents are engaging in low levels of PA and active commuting, high levels of screen time, and have extremely low compliance with dietary recommendations. More efforts are needed to address the root causes of physical inactivity while increasing the opportunities for children and adolescents to be more physically active.

Open access

Karla I. Galaviz, Mabel Aguilar Arroyo, Inés González-Casanova, Martín Francisco González Villalobos, Alejandra Jáuregui, Edtna Jáuregui Ulloa, Selene Pacheco Miranda, Marcela Pérez Rodríguez, Ricardo Alejandro Retano Pelayo and Juan Ricardo López-Taylor

Background:

The 2016 Mexican Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth aims to assess how Mexico is doing in terms of providing physical activity (PA) opportunities for Mexican children and youth. The purpose of this article is to summarize results from the Mexican 2016 Report Card.

Methods:

A literature search was conducted in Spanish and English languages using major databases, and complemented with a review of government/nongovernment documents, websites, and national health surveys. Information on the 9 indicators outlined in the Global Matrix of Report Card Grades was extracted. A team of Mexican experts met to discuss and assign a grade on each indicator based on the best available evidence and established benchmarks.

Results:

Daily behaviors grades were Overall PA (C), Organized Sport Participation (D), Active Play (D-), Active Transportation (C), and Sedentary Behavior (D). For Settings and Sources of Influence, grades were Family and Peers (INC), School (D-), and Community and Environment (D). Strategies and Investments grades were Government Strategies (C) and Non-Government (F).

Conclusions:

PA and sedentary behaviors among Mexican children and youth remain below the recommended levels. Government and communities are far from providing appropriate and sufficient physical activity opportunities for children and youth.

Open access

Ralph Maddison, Samantha Marsh, Erica Hinckson, Scott Duncan, Sandra Mandic, Rachael Taylor and Melody Smith

Background:

In this article, we report the grades for the second New Zealand Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, which represents a synthesis of available New Zealand evidence across 9 core indicators.

Methods:

An expert panel of physical activity (PA) researchers collated and reviewed available nationally representative survey data between March and May 2016. In the absence of new data, (2014–2016) regional level data were used to inform the direction of existing grades. Grades were assigned based on the percentage of children and youth meeting each indicator: A is 81% to 100%; B is 61% to 80%; C is 41% to 60%, D is 21% to 40%; F is 0% to 20%; INC is Incomplete data.

Results:

Overall PA, Active Play, and Government Initiatives were graded B-; Community Environments was graded B; Sport Participation and School Environment received a C+; Sedentary Behaviors and Family/Peer Support were graded C; and Active Travel was graded C-.

Conclusions:

Overall PA participation was satisfactory for young children but not for youth. The grade for PA decreased slightly from the 2014 report card; however, there was an improvement in grades for built and school environments, which may support regional and national-level initiatives for promoting PA.

Open access

Ade F. Adeniyi, Olukemi O. Odukoya, Adewale L. Oyeyemi, Rufus A. Adedoyin, Olatunde S. Ojo, Edirin Metseagharun and Kingsley K. Akinroye

Background:

The Nigerian Report card on Physical Activity (PA) in Children and Youth was first developed in 2013 to inform practice and policy on healthy living and prevention of noncommunicable diseases among Nigerian children and youth. This article summarizes the results of the 2016 report card and provides updated evidence on the current situation in Nigeria.

Methods:

A comprehensive review of literature was undertaken by the Report Card Working Group. Grades were assigned to 10 PA indicators based on the criteria used for the 2013 edition.

Results:

Grades assigned to the indicators were Overall PA, D; Active Play and Leisure, C; Active Transportation, B; Sedentary Behaviors (screen-based, F and nonscreen-based, D); Overweight and Obesity, A; PA in Schools, C-; Government/Nongovernment Organizations/Private Sector/Policy, B. The following indicators were graded as Incomplete: Organized Sport and PA, Community and Built Environment, and Family and Peers.

Conclusions:

The overall PA levels of Nigerian children and youth seemed to be declining compared with the 2013 Report card but with slight improvement in active play and leisure, and PA in school settings. A substantial number of Nigerian children and youth still have high sedentary behaviors, overweight and obesity. Efforts are needed to promote PA among them.

Open access

Pawel Zembura, Aleksandra Goldys and Hanna Nalecz

Background:

Poland’s 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth is the first assessment of child and youth physical activity (PA) in Poland using the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance grading system. The main goal was to summarize and describe the current state of child and youth PA to increase awareness and surveillance.

Methods:

The systematic methodology that underpins the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card was adapted and applied to the Polish report card. The best available data were consolidated, reviewed by a group of experts, and used to assign the letter grades to 9 core PA indicators on a scale ranging from A (highest) to F (lowest).

Results:

The 9 indicators were graded as such: 1) Overall Physical Activity (D), 2) Organized Sport Participation (C), 3) Active Play (INC), 4) Active Transportation (C), 5) Sedentary Behaviors (D), 6) Family and Peers (C), 7) School (B), 8) Community and the Built Environment (C), and 9) Government Strategies and Investments (C).

Conclusions:

The final grades show a strong role of school in providing PA for children and youth in Poland. However, promotion of school-based sport participation appears to be insufficient by itself to sustainably promote PA in this group.

Open access

Jorge Mota, Manuel João Coelho-e-Silva, Armando M. Raimundo and Luís B. Sardinha

Background:

This article describes the procedures and development of the first Portuguese Report Card on Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents.

Methods:

Comprehensive searches for data related to indicators of physical activity (PA) were completed by a committee of physical activity and sports specialists. Grades were assigned to each indicator consistent with the process and methodology outlined by the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card model.

Results:

Nine indicators of PA were graded. The following grades were assigned: Overall Physical Activity Levels, D; Organized Sport Participation, B; Active Play, D; Active Transportation, C; Sedentary Behaviors, D; Family and Peers, C; Schools, B; Community and the Built Environment, D; and Government, C.

Conclusions:

Portuguese children and adolescents do not reach sufficient physical activity levels and spend larger amounts of time spent in sedentary behaviors compared with recommendations. Effective policies of PA promotion and implementation are needed in different domains of young people’s daily lives.

Open access

Mohamed G. Al-Kuwari, Izzeldin A. Ibrahim, Eiman M. Al Hammadi and John J. Reilly

Background:

The first Qatar Active Healthy Kids (QAHK) Report Card was developed in 2015–2016. It is a synthesis of the available evidence on physical activity in children and youth in the state of Qatar—an assessment of the state of the nation. The report card is important for future physical activity advocacy, policy, and program development.

Methods:

The QAHK Report Card was inspired by the Active Healthy Kids Scotland 2013 Report Card. The methodology used in Scotland’s report card was adapted for Qatar. A Working Group identified indicators for physical activity and related health behaviors, and evaluated the available data on these indicators. The card grades were determined by the percentage of children meeting guidelines or recommendations.

Results:

The 2016 QAHK Report Card consisted of 9 indicators: 6 Physical Activity and Health Behaviors and Outcomes, and 3 Settings and Influences on these health behaviors and outcomes. The indicator National Policy, Strategy, and Investment was assigned the highest grade (B). Four indicators were assigned D grades: Sedentary Behavior, Dietary Habits, Organized Sports Participation, and Family and Peer Influence. Physical Activity and Obesity were both graded F. Two indicators could not be graded due to insufficient data and/or absence of a recommendation: Active and Outdoor Play, and Community and School Influence.

Conclusions:

The QAHK Report Card identified weaknesses and gaps in the evidence on physical activity and health in children and youth in Qatar. The quality of evidence was poor for some indicators, with some data collection methods of limited validity and reliability, or only available for a limited age range, so the grades are best estimates of the current situation in Qatar. Future surveys and research using objective physical activity measures will support the development of a second QAHK Report Card by 2018.

Open access

John J. Reilly, Avril Johnstone, Geraldine McNeill and Adrienne R. Hughes

Background:

The 2016 Active Healthy Kids Scotland Report Card aims to improve surveillance of physical activity (PA), facilitate international comparisons, and encourage evidence-informed PA and health policy.

Methods:

Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card methodology was used: a search for data on child and adolescent PA and health published after the 2013 Scottish Report Card was carried out. Data sources were considered for grading if based on representative samples with prevalence estimates made using methods with low bias. Ten health behaviors/outcomes were graded on an A to F scale based on quintiles (prevalence meeting recommendations ≥80% graded A down to <20% graded F).

Results:

Three of the seven Health Behaviors and Outcomes received F or F- grades: Overall PA, Sedentary Behavior, and Obesity. Active and Outdoor Play and Organized Sport Participation could not be graded. Active Commuting to School was graded C, and Diet was graded D-. Family and Peer Influence was graded D-; Perceived Safety and Availability of Space for PA as well as the National Policy Environment were more favorable (both B).

Conclusions:

Grades were identical to those in 2013. Scotland has a generally favorable environment for PA, but children and adolescents have low PA and high sedentary behavior. Gaps in surveillance included lack of objectively measured PA, no surveillance of moderate-to-vigorous PA in children, summary surveillance data not expressed in ways which match recommendations (eg, for PA in young children; for screen-time), and no surveillance of Sport Participation, Active and Outdoor Play, or Sitting. Scottish policy does not include sedentary behavior at present.