Physical Activity, Screen Time, and Prevalence of Overweight/Obesity among Adolescents in a Creative, Problem-Solving Program


Certain dietary, physical activity, and sedentary behaviors have been studied extensively and consistently have been found to be associated with childhood overweight and obesity Productive sedentary-to-light activity pursuits may enhance the relationship among positive health behaviors. The purpose of this study was to identify the prevalence of overweight and obesity in a population of adolescents participating in a creative, problem-solving afterschool program and to identify the physical activity, sedentary, and dietary behaviors related to overweight and obesity in this group. This study describes health behaviors thought to be related to weight status for 1679 adolescents in grades 6 12 participating in a competitive, creative, team-oriented, problem-solving afterschool program. Self-reported dietary, physical activity, and sedentary behavior data were collected in this convenience sample based on the 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Measured height and weight data were collected to calculate BMI percentile. Using multinomial regression, models were constructed to predict the likelihood of being classified as overweight/obese. The prevalence of overweight in the study population was 15.6%, obese was 11.4%. Fruit/vegetable intake, milk consumption, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, television time, and total screen time were all independently associated with weight status. After controlling for all covariates, male gender, minority racial/ethnic status, and high screen time while not meeting the physical activity recommendation significantly increased the likelihood of overweight/obesity. The participants in the current study are leaner and engage in healthier behaviors compared to national data for adolescents. The interactive variable combining both sedentary and PA measures is a relatively new technique used to provide a better understanding of the relationship between sedentary and physical activity behaviors as they relate to weight status. Even among healthy eating, physically active, low-risk adolescents, the interactive variable of physical activity and screen time strongly was associated with weight status.

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J. Maples, E. Fitzhugh, C. Costello, N. Moustaid-Moussa, D. Basset, M. Spence and B. Greer, "Physical Activity, Screen Time, and Prevalence of Overweight/Obesity among Adolescents in a Creative, Problem-Solving Program," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2012, pp. 568-578. doi: 10.4236/fns.2012.34079.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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