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  • Author: Kate A. Heelan x
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Kate A. Heelan and Joey C. Eisenmann

Background:

It is uncertain as to whether physical activity (PA) may influence the body composition of young children.

Purpose:

To determine the association between PA, media time, and body composition in children age 4 to 7 y.

Methods:

100 children (52 girls, 48 boys) were assessed for body-mass index (BMI), body fat, fat mass (FM), and fat-free mass using dual energy x-ray absorbtiometryptiometry (DXA). PA was monitored using accelerometers and media time was reported by parental proxy.

Results:

In general, correlations were low to moderate at best (r < 0.51), but in the expected direction. Total media time and TV were significantly associated with BMI (r = 0.51, P < 0.05) and FM (r = 0.29 to 0.30, P < 0.05) in girls. In boys, computer usage was significantly associated with FM in boys (r = 0.31, P < 0.05).

Conclusion:

The relatively low correlations suggest that other factors may influence the complex, multi-factorial body composition phenotype of young children.

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Joey C. Eisenman, Mark A. Sarzynski, Jerod Tucker and Kate A. Heelan

The purpose of this study was to examine if offspring physical activity may affect the relationship between maternal overweight and offspring fatness and blood pressure (BP). Subjects included 144 maternal-child pairs (n = 74 boys and 70 girls, mean age = 7.3 yrs). Maternal prepregnancy BMI was determined by self-report. Offspring characteristics included resting systolic and diastolic BP, body fatness by dual energy x-ray absorbtiometry, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) using the Actigraph accelerometer. Children whose mothers were overweight or obese prepregnancy (Prepreg OW) were significantly larger and fatter than children from mothers with a normal prepregnancy BMI (Prepreg NORM). Prepreg OW children also had higher mean arterial pressure than Prepreg NORM children. BP values were not different across maternal Prepreg BMI/MVPA groups. Percent fat was significantly different across Prepreg BMI/MVPA groups. Prepreg OW children that did not meet the daily recommended value of MVPA were the fattest. Prepreg OW children that attained 360 min of MVPA/day had a mean percent body fat that was similar to Prepreg NORM children of either MVPA group.

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Kate A. Heelan, Bryce M. Abbey, Joseph E. Donnelly, Matthew S. Mayo and Gregory J. Welk

Background:

Walking to and from school has potential to increase daily physical activity among children.

Methods:

A Walking School Bus (WSB) intervention was implemented for 2 years in 2 schools with a third school as a control. The primary aim evaluated school-wide prevalence of walking to school by self-report 6 times (fall, winter, spring). The secondary aims compared objective physical activity levels among a subsample of research participants (intervention [INT] = 201, control [CON] =123) and between frequency of walking to school groups. INT and CON participants wore an accelerometer during 4 time periods to assess daily physical activity and were measured for body mass index (BMI) and body fat each fall and spring.

Results:

School-wide prevalence of walking to school frequently (>50% of the time each week) was 27% higher in the WSB schools than in the control school. INT obtained significantly more daily physical activity than CON (78.0 [38.9] vs 60.6 [27.7] min/d, P < .05). In addition, across all schools, frequent walkers obtained 25% more physical activity (P < .05), gained 58% less body fat (P < .05), and attenuated BMI by 50% (P < .05) compared with passive commuters.

Conclusion:

This study suggests a WSB intervention may increase frequency of walking to school and establishes a link with increased daily physical activity.

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Mark A. Sarzynski, Joey C. Eisenmann, Gregory J. Welk, Jared Tucker, Kim Glenn, Max Rothschild and Kate Heelan

The present study examined the association between the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism, physical activity, and resting blood pressure (BP) in a sample of 132 children (48.4% female). Children attaining 60 min/day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) possessed lower % body fat (29% vs 24%, p < .05). Resting BP did not significantly differ between genotypes. Furthermore, partial correlations between MVPA and BP were low and did not vary by ACE genotype. Thus, the ACE I/D genotype is not associated with BP and does not modify the relationship between physical activity and BP in this sample of children.