Background Obesity, sedentary lifestyle and poor cardiorespiratory fitness in childhood may increase the risk of health problems later in life.
Purpose The authors studied the association of early childhood weight status with cardiorespiratory fitness and leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) in adolescence. The stability and associations of LTPA and fitness from childhood through adolescence were also studied.
Methods Body mass index (BMI) was assessed annually since birth in a prospective, longitudinal study. The mean BMI between ages 2 and 7 years indicated weight status at preschool age. Fitness was studied with a shuttle run test at age 9 and with a maximal cycle ergometer test at age 17. The same questionnaire was used to assess LTPA at age 9, 13 and 17. Complete data on preschool BMI, LTPA at ages 13 and 17 and fitness at age 17 years was provided by 351 children, while fitness and LTPA data were available for 74 children at ages 9 and 17.
Results Preschool BMI was inversely associated with fitness in adolescence independently of adolescent LTPA (p=0.0001). Children who had a high preschool BMI but whose weight status was reduced in adolescence had similar fitness in adolescence as the children with a persistently low BMI. Regardless of the fitness level in childhood, the children whose LTPA increased between age 9 and 17 had a similar adolescent fitness level as persistently active subjects.
Conclusions It is important to maintain a healthy body weight and a physically active lifestyle from very childhood through adolescence to improve fitness during adolescence.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.
Files in this Data Supplement:
- Web Only Data - This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.
Funding Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture; Finnish Cultural Foundation; Juho Vainio Foundation; Finnish Cardiac Research Foundation; Academy of Finland (grant number 251360, 206374, 210238, 77841, 34316, and Public Health Challenge Research Programme); Sigrid Juselius Foundation; Special Governmental Grants for Health Sciences Research, Turku University Hospital; Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation; CG Sundell Foundation; Foundation for Pediatric Research and Turku University Foundation.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval The Joint Commission on Ethics of the Turku University and the Turku University Central Hospital.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
▸ References to this paper are available online at http://bjsm.bmjgroup.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.