Prospective associations between physical activity and obesity among adolescent girls - Racial differences and implications for prevention

James White, Russell Jago

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective: To test for differences in prospective associations between physical activity and obesity among black and white adolescent girls.

    Design: Prospective cohort study using data from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study.

    Setting: Multicenter study at the University of California (Berkeley), Children's Medical Center at the University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, Ohio), and Westat, Inc, and Group Health Association (Rockville, Maryland).

    Participants: A total of 1148 adolescent girls (538 black and 610 white) who provided valid data on levels of physical activity and obesity at ages 12 and 14 years.

    Intervention: Physical activity, assessed as accelerometer counts per day.

    Main Outcome Measures: Three measurements of obesity were obtained using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition of obesity (at or above the age-specific 95th percentile of body mass index), the International Obesity Task Force reference body mass index cut points for obesity in children, and the sums of skinfold thickness (with the cohort >= 90th percentile as indicative of obesity).

    Results: We found a strong negative dose-response association between quartiles of accelerometer counts per day at age 12 years and obesity at age 14 years (using all 3 measurements of obesity) in white but not black girls (P<.001 for body mass index interaction and P=.06 for sums of skinfold thickness interaction). The odds ratios for obesity (using the cohort >= 90th percentile for sums of skinfold thickness) in adjusted models between the top and the bottom quartiles of accelerometer counts per day were 0.15 (95% CI, 0.04-0.63; P=.03 for trend) in white girls and 0.85 (95% CI, 0.32-2.26; P=.93 for trend) in black girls.

    Conclusions: Higher levels of physical activity are prospectively associated with lower levels of obesity in white adolescent girls but not in black adolescent girls. Obesity prevention interventions may need to be adapted to account for the finding that black girls are less sensitive to the effects of physical activity.

    Translated title of the contributionProspective associations between physical activity and obesity among adolescent girls - Racial differences and implications for prevention
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)522-527
    Number of pages6
    JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
    Volume166
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

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