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Melody Oliver, Philip J. Schluter, Genevieve N. Healy, El-Shadan Tautolo, Grant Schofield and Elaine Rush

Background:

Breaks in sedentary behavior are associated with reduced body size in general populations. This study is the first to consider the relationship between objectively assessed sedentary breaks and body size in Pacific children and their mothers.

Methods:

Pacific children aged 6 years (n = 393) and their mothers (n = 386) residing in New Zealand were invited to participate in 2006. Sedentary time was assessed via accelerometry. Average frequency, duration, and intensity of breaks in sedentary time per hour were calculated. Waist circumference was assessed and demographic factors collected via questionnaire. Relationships between waist circumference and potential associated factors for participants were assessed using linear regression analyses.

Results:

Accelerometer data were obtained from 126 children (52 boys) and 108 mothers. Mean (standard deviation) waist circumference values for mothers and children were 114 cm (20.1 cm) and 59.4 cm (7.8 cm), respectively. For mothers, time spent sedentary and being an ex/nonsmoker were positively related to waist circumference. For children, watching television every day and having a mother with a high waist circumference was associated with a greater waist circumference.

Conclusion:

Strategies that focus on reducing sedentary time in Pacific mothers and on encouraging television free days in young Pacific children are recommended.

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Nerissa Campbell, Anca Gaston, Casey Gray, Elaine Rush, Ralph Maddison and Harry Prapavessis

Background:

Accurate assessment of physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) among adolescents is important for surveillance, evaluating interventions, and understanding the relation between energy balance and normal physiological and behavioral growth and development. The purpose of this study was to examine the validity of the Short Questionnaire to Assess Health-Enhancing Physical Activity (SQUASH)13 for measuring PAEE among adolescents.

Methods:

The participants were seventeen adolescents (9 females; Mean age = 17.53; SD = 0.62). Energy expenditure was measured during a 9-day period with doubly labeled water (DLW). The SQUASH was self-administered on the morning of the 10th day and assessed commuting activities, leisure time activities, household activities, and activities at work and school over the previous 9 days.

Results:

A Bland-Altman plot indicated that the SQUASH underestimated PAEE compared with DLW by a mean difference of 126 kcal·d−1 (95% limits of agreement: –1,207 to 1,459 kcal·d−1), representative of a 10% underestimation. The Spearman rank order correlation coefficient showed there was a significant association between the SQUASH and DLW (r = .50, P = .04), for estimating PAEE.

Conclusion:

When using a sample of highly active adolescents, the SQUASH is a valid self-report tool for measuring PAEE at the group and individual rank order level.