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Mark S. Tremblay, Silvia A. Gonzalez, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Vincent O. Onywera, and John. J. Reilly

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Mark S. Tremblay, Silvia A. Gonzalez, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Vincent O. Onywera, John J. Reilly, and Grant Tomkinson

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Silvia A. González, Olga L. Sarmiento, Richard Larouche, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: In Colombia, active transportation has been assessed in multiple local and regional studies, but national data on active transportation are scarce. This study aims to describe the prevalence and factors associated with active transportation to/from school among Colombian children and adolescents. Methods: The authors analyzed nationally representative data from the National Survey of Nutrition 2015, with a sample of 11,466 children and adolescents aged between 3 and 17 years. Descriptive statistics were calculated, and prevalence ratios were estimated using Poisson regression multivariable models with robust variance. Results: Approximately 70% of Colombian children and adolescents reported engaging in active transportation to/from school over the last week. There were no differences by sex among preschoolers nor school-aged children. Fewer adolescent females than males used active transportation. Preschoolers and school-aged children living in Bogota were more likely to report active transport than children from other regions (prevalence ratios for other regions ranged from 0.59 to 0.86). School-aged children and adolescents with a lower wealth index were more likely to use active transportation than their counterparts (prevalence ratios = 1.32 and 1.22, respectively). Conclusions: The wealthiest children and adolescents, adolescents from rural areas, and female adolescents should be a focus for future interventions. Actions need to be implemented to improve the involvement in active transportation to/from school in Colombia.

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Silvia A. González, Olga L. Sarmiento, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Diana M. Camargo-Lemos, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: Global estimates have shown that a small proportion of children and adolescents are physically active. However, the evidence on physical activity (PA) among Colombian children and adolescents is limited. The objective of this study was to describe the prevalence and correlates of meeting PA guidelines among Colombian children and adolescents. Methods: Data were collected as part of the National Survey of Nutrition 2015. A national sample of 16,612 children and adolescents (3–17 y) was included. Prevalence estimates of meeting PA and active play guidelines were calculated, and Poisson regression models were conducted to identify correlates of PA. Results: Low proportion of Colombian children and adolescents met the PA guidelines. Low engagement in active play was observed among preschoolers. Correlates varied by age group. Female sex was a consistent negative correlate of meeting PA guidelines across all age groups. Conclusions: Urgent actions are needed to promote active play and PA among Colombian children and adolescents. The correlates identified in our study can help inform the development of actions to overcome the disparities and provide opportunities for children to achieve their full potential for healthy growth and development.

Open access

Mark S. Tremblay, Joel D. Barnes, Silvia A. González, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Vincent O. Onywera, John J. Reilly, Grant R. Tomkinson, and the Global Matrix 2.0 Research Team

The Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance organized the concurrent preparation of Report Cards on the physical activity of children and youth in 38 countries from 6 continents (representing 60% of the world’s population). Nine common indicators were used (Overall Physical Activity, Organized Sport Participation, Active Play, Active Transportation, Sedentary Behavior, Family and Peers, School, Community and the Built Environment, and Government Strategies and Investments), and all Report Cards were generated through a harmonized development process and a standardized grading framework (from A = excellent, to F = failing). The 38 Report Cards were presented at the International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health in Bangkok, Thailand on November 16, 2016. The consolidated findings are summarized in the form of a Global Matrix demonstrating substantial variation in grades both within and across countries. Countries that lead in certain indicators often lag in others. Average grades for both Overall Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior around the world are D (low/poor). In contrast, the average grade for indicators related to supports for physical activity was C. Lower-income countries generally had better grades on Overall Physical Activity, Active Transportation, and Sedentary Behaviors compared with higher-income countries, yet worse grades for supports from Family and Peers, Community and the Built Environment, and Government Strategies and Investments. Average grades for all indicators combined were highest (best) in Denmark, Slovenia, and the Netherlands. Many surveillance and research gaps were apparent, especially for the Active Play and Family and Peers indicators. International cooperation and cross-fertilization is encouraged to address existing challenges, understand underlying determinants, conceive innovative solutions, and mitigate the global childhood inactivity crisis. The paradox of higher physical activity and lower sedentary behavior in countries reporting poorer infrastructure, and lower physical activity and higher sedentary behavior in countries reporting better infrastructure, suggests that autonomy to play, travel, or chore requirements and/or fewer attractive sedentary pursuits, rather than infrastructure and structured activities, may facilitate higher levels of physical activity.

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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.

Open access

Salomé Aubert, Joel D. Barnes, Megan L. Forse, Evan Turner, Silvia A. González, Jakub Kalinowski, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Eun-Young Lee, Reginald Ocansey, John J. Reilly, Natasha Schranz, Leigh M. Vanderloo, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: In response to growing concerns over high levels of physical inactivity among young people, the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance developed a series of national Report Cards on physical activity for children and youth to advocate for the promotion of physical activity. This article provides updated evidence of the impact of the Report Cards on powering the movement to get children and youth moving globally. Methods: This assessment was performed using quantitative and qualitative sources of information, including surveys, peer-reviewed publications, e-mails, gray literature, and other sources. Results: Although it is still too early to observe a positive change in physical activity levels among children and youth, an impact on raising awareness and capacity building in the national and international scientific community, disseminating information to the general population and stakeholders, and on powering the movement to get kids moving has been observed. Conclusions: It is hoped that the Report Card activities will initiate a measurable shift in the physical activity levels of children and contribute to achieving the 4 strategic objectives of the World Health Organization Global Action Plan as follows: creating an active society, creating active environments, creating active lives, and creating active systems.

Open access

Silvia A. González, Maria A Castiblanco, Luis F. Arias-Gómez, Andrea Martinez-Ospina, Daniel D. Cohen, Gustavo A. Holguin, Adriana Almanza, Diana Marina Camargo Lemos, Jorge Enrique Correa-Bautista, Iván D. Escobar, Johnattan García, Rocio Gámez, Mauricio Garzon, Yaneth Herazo Beltrán, Hernan Hurtado, Oscar Lozano, Diana C. Páez, Robinson Ramírez-Vélez, Nubia Ruiz, Gustavo Tovar, and Olga L. Sarmiento

Background:

Physical activity (PA) is vital to the holistic development of young people. Regular participation in PA is associated with substantial benefits for health, cognitive function, and social inclusion. Recognizing the potential of PA in the context of the current peace process in Colombia, the purpose of this article is to present the methodology and results of Colombia’s second Report Card on PA for children and youth.

Methods:

A group of experts on PA graded 14 PA indicators based on data from national surveys and policy documents.

Results:

National and departmental policy indicators received a grade of B, while organized sport participation, overweight, obesity, community influence, and nongovernment initiatives indicators received a grade of C. Overall PA levels, active transportation, sedentary behaviors, and school influence received a grade of D. Active play, low physical fitness, and family influence received an Incomplete grade.

Conclusions:

PA levels are low and sedentary behaviors are high in Colombian children and youth, with notable geographic differences. A broad policy framework translated into specific actions could provide unique opportunities to bridge the gap between knowledge and practice, and contribute to social integration goals in a postconflict setting.

Open access

Silvia A. González, Joel D. Barnes, Patrick Abi Nader, Dolores Susana Andrade Tenesaca, Javier Brazo-Sayavera, Karla I. Galaviz, Marianella Herrera-Cuenca, Piyawat Katewongsa, Juan López-Taylor, Yang Liu, Bilyana Mileva, Angélica María Ochoa Avilés, Diego Augusto Santos Silva, Pairoj Saonuam, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: The Global Matrix 3.0 brings together the Report Card grades for 10 physical activity indicators for children and youth from 49 countries. This study describes and compares the Global Matrix 3.0 findings among 10 countries with high Human Development Index. Methods: Report Cards on physical activity indicators were developed by each country following a harmonized process. Countries informed their Report Cards with the best and most recent evidence available. Indicators were graded using a common grading rubric and benchmarks established by the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance. A database of grades from the countries was compiled, and letter grades were converted to numerical equivalents. Descriptive statistics and scores for groups of indicators were calculated, and correlation analyses were conducted. Results: Grades for the 10 countries clustered around “D” ranging from “F” to “B+.” Active Transportation had the highest average grade (“C”), whereas Overall Physical Activity had the lowest average grade (“D-”). Low grades were observed for both behavioral and sources of influence indicators. Conclusions: In the context of social and economical changes of high- Human Development Index countries, urgent actions to increase physical activity among children and youth are required. Surveillance and monitoring efforts are required to fill research gaps.

Open access

Silvia A. González, Camilo A. Triana, Catalina Abaunza, Laura Aldana, Luis F. Arias-Gómez, Jhael Bermúdez, Diana Marina Camargo Lemos, Juan Camilo Cuya, Daniel D. Cohen, Jorge Enrique Correa-Bautista, Iván D. Escobar, Karen Lorena Fajardo, Johnattan García, Rocio Gámez, Julia Andrea Gómez, Yaneth Herazo Beltrán, Maria Jose Lizarazo, Oscar Lozano, Paola Andrea Martínez, Mercedes Mora, Diana C. Páez, Robinson Ramírez-Vélez, Maria Isabel Rodríguez, Nubia Ruiz, Gustavo Tovar, Julieth Pilar Uriza, and Olga L. Sarmiento