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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

Blanca Roman-Viñas, Fabio Zazo, Jesús Martínez-Martínez, Susana Aznar-Laín and Lluís Serra-Majem

Introduction Trend data from the Spanish National Health Survey shows that the proportion of children who are physically active (some kind of leisure time physical activity at least several times per month) range from 45% in 1993 to 59% in 1997 and 56% in 2011. 1 Data collected for the 2016 Report

Open access

Lisbeth Runge Larsen, Jens Troelsen, Kasper Lund Kirkegaard, Søren Riiskjær, Rikke Krølner, Lars Østergaard, Peter Lund Kristensen, Niels Christian Møller, Bjørn Friis Neerfeldt Christensen, Jens-Ole Jensen, Charlotte Østergård and Thomas Skovgaard

Background:

The first Danish Report Card on Physical Activity (PA) for Children and Youth describes Denmark’s efforts in promoting and facilitating PA and PA opportunities for children and youth.

Methods:

The report card relies primarily on a synthesis of the best available research and policy strategies identified by the Report Card Research Committee consisting of a wide presentation of researchers and experts within PA health behaviors and policy development. The work was coordinated by Research and Innovation Centre for Human Movement and Learning situated at the University of Southern Denmark and the University College Lillebaelt. Nine PA indicators were graded using the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card development process.

Results:

Grades from A (highest) to F (lowest) varied in Denmark as follows: 1) Overall Physical Activity (D+), 2) Organized Sport Participation (A), 3) Active Play (INC; incomplete), 4) Active Transportation (B), 5) Sedentary Behaviors (INC), 6) Family and Peers (INC), 7) School (B), 8) Community and the Built Environment (B+), and 9) Government strategies and investments (A-).

Conclusions:

A large proportion of children in Denmark do not meet the recommendations for PA despite the favorable investments and intensions from the government to create good facilities and promote PA.

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Silvia A. González, Olga L. Sarmiento, Daniel D. Cohen, Diana M. Camargo, Jorge E. Correa, Diana C. Páez and Robinson Ramírez-Vélez

Background:

Physical activity (PA) is central to the global agenda for the prevention on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Although 80% of NCDs occur in low-to-middle-income countries, the evidence on PA comes mainly from high-income countries. In this context, the report card for Colombia is an advocacy tool to help in the translation of evidence into concrete actions. The aims of this paper were two-fold: to present the methodology used to develop the first Report Card on Physical Activity in Colombian Children and Youth and to summarize the results.

Methods:

Twelve indicators of PA were graded using numerical grades (5, highest, to 1, lowest) based on data from national surveys and policy documents.

Results:

National policy and obesity indicators were graded “4,” while departmental policy and overweight indicators were graded “3.” Overall PA levels, sports participation, sedentary behaviors and nongovernment initiatives were graded “2,” and school influence was graded “1.” Active transportation, active play, low cardiorespiratory fitness, and family and community influence received an incomplete.

Conclusion:

PA levels are low and sedentary behaviors are high in Colombian children and youth. Although the prevalence of obesity in Colombia is lower compared with other Latin American countries, it is increasing. A rich legal framework and availability of institutional arrangements provide unique opportunities to bridge the gap between knowledge and practice that need to be evaluated.

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Susan A. Carlson, Roxanna Guide, Thomas L. Schmid, Latetia V. Moore, Danielle T. Barradas and Janet E. Fulton

Background:

Street-scale urban design policies are recommended to increase physical activity in communities. Our purpose was to examine U.S. public support for local street-scale urban design features and policies.

Methods:

Analysis is based on a cross-sectional national sample of adults (n = 4682) participating in the 2006 HealthStyles mail survey.

Results:

About 57% of adults rated local street-scale urban design as highly important in determining the amount of physical activity they obtain. Adjusted odds of rating neighborhood features as having high importance were higher in people aged ≥65 years versus those <65 and minority racial/ethnic groups versus non-Hispanic whites. Two-thirds of adults were willing to take civic action to support local street-scale urban design policy. Adjusted odds of being willing to take any action versus none was higher in non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics versus non-Hispanic whites, was higher in those with household incomes ≥$60,000 versus ≤$15,000 per year, and increased as education and perceived importance of neighborhood features increased.

Conclusions:

There are high levels of public support for local street-scale urban design policies; however, demographic differences exist in the level of support. These differences are important considerations for policymakers and for those designing community programs targeting street-scale urban design features and policies.

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Reginald Ocansey, Richmond Aryeetey, Seidu Sofo, Margaret Badasu Delali, Prince Pambo and Vida Korleki Nyawornota

Background:

Limited evidence exists on indicators of physical activity (PA) and guidelines for children and youth in Ghana, despite the growing burden of physical inactivity, obesity, and related morbidity. A baseline description of PA indicators of Ghanaian children and youth is hereby presented in the 2014 Ghanaian Physical Activity Report Card.

Methods:

Data for the report card were obtained from a very limited available literature on PA among children and youth in Ghana. PA experts independently assigned grades to indicators based on available evidence, which were then harmonized and agreed to by group consensus.

Results:

The report card is based on limited evidence. Thus, 2 indicators were not graded (Active Play, and Family and Peer Support). For sedentary behavior, a B grade was assigned based on evidence from the 2012 Ghana School Health Survey which indicated that 21% of children and youth were sedentary. Organized Sports was graded a C, while the remainder of indicators (Overall PA levels, Active Transportation, School, Community, and Government) were graded a D.

Conclusions:

About one-third of Ghanaian children and youth engage in inadequate PA. More research on PA behavior and enabling environments is needed to better grade the indicators of PA in the future and to inform policy and interventions in Ghana. Appropriate school physical education and after-school sports policies and programs are warranted.

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Ralph Maddison, Leila Pfaeffli Dale, Samantha Marsh, Allana G. LeBlanc and Melody Oliver

Background:

This brief report provides grades for the 2014 New Zealand Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. The Report Card presents a review of current evidence across 9 key indicators, including physical activity (PA), organized sport and free play, sedentary behavior, and community and government initiatives across New Zealand.

Methods:

Nationally representative survey data were collated by researchers at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, between June and December 2013. The grade for each indicator is based on the percentage of children and youth meeting a defined benchmark: A is 81%−100%; B is 61%−80%; C is 41%−60%, D is 21%−40%; F is 0%−20%; INC is incomplete data.

Results:

Overall PA received a score of B, as did Organized Sport Participation and Active Play. PA participation in School Environment scored slightly less with a score of B-. Sedentary Behaviors, Family and Peers, and Community and Built Environment scored a grade of C. Active transportation received a score of C-. An inconclusive grade was given for the Government indicator due to a lack of established international criteria for assessment.

Conclusions:

PA participation in New Zealand is satisfactory, but could improve. However, sedentary behavior is high. Of particular concern is the age-related decline in PA participation, particularly among adolescent females, and the increase in sedentary behavior.

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

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

Anne I. Wijtzes, Maïté Verloigne, Alexandre Mouton, Marc Cloes, Karin A.A. De Ridder, Greet Cardon and Jan Seghers

Background:

This 2016 Belgium Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth is the first systematic evaluation of physical activity (PA) behaviors, related health behaviors, health outcomes, and influences thereon, using the Active Healthy Kids Canada grading framework.

Methods:

A research working group consisting of PA experts from both Flanders and Wallonia collaborated to determine the indicators to be graded, data sources to be used, and factors to be taken into account during the grading process. Grades were finalized after consensus was reached among the research working group and 2 stakeholder groups consisting of academic and policy experts in the fields of PA, sedentary behavior, and dietary behavior.

Results:

Eleven indicators were selected and assigned the following grades: Overall PA (F+), Organized Sport Participation (C-), Active Play (C+), Active Transportation (C-), Sedentary Behaviors (D-), School (B-), Government Strategies and Investment (C+), and Weight Status (D). Incomplete grades were assigned to Family and Peers, Community and the Built Environment, and Dietary Behaviors due to a lack of nationally representative data.

Conclusions:

Despite moderately positive social and environmental influences, PA levels of Belgian children and youth are low while levels of sedentary behaviors are high.