Poster Presentation Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting

Obesity prevalence in a sample of low socioeconomic children: Cross sectional associations with physical activity, sedentary and eating behaviour (#193)

Jennifer Marks 1 , Lisa Barnett 1 , Steven Allender 2
  1. Deakin University, Burwood, Vic, Australia
  2. WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, Deakin University, Geelong, Vic, Australia

Background: Childhood obesity prevalence, previously at a disturbing upward trend, appears to be holding at a steady rate. The purpose of this study was to investigate current levels of obesity prevalence in a sample of low socioeconomic pre-adolescent children and examine associations with physical activity, sedentary and eating behaviour.
Methods: Nine primary schools in Victoria, Australia were randomly selected from the bottom two strata of a five level socio-economic scale. Self-report physical activity, screen-time and eating behavioural data were collected from students (age 10-13) via questionnaire (N=310). Physical activity intensity and duration data were collected via Actigraph GT1M accelerometer. Anthropometric (height, weight and waist) measurements were used to calculate BMI-z. Descriptive analyses by gender were assessed using chi square and t-tests as appropriate. Linear regression tested for strength of association between BMI-z and behaviours.
Results: Overweight prevalence 37.7% (43% male; 34% female), mean age 12.1 (58% female). Males were more active (M: 2.5hrs, F: 1.8hrs; Z=2.92; P<0.01) and engaged in more screen time (M: 4hrs F: 3hrs; Z=2.36; P<0.05) on weekends than females. Type of screen behaviour differed by gender, more females used computers for leisure (F: 57%; M: 44%; X2=5.32; P<0.05) and more males played non-active computer games (M: 53%; F:s 33%; X2=12.55; P<0.01). Non-core food and sweetened beverage intake target scores were not met by 93% and 58% students respectively. No statistically significant associations were found between each behaviour and BMI-z.
Conclusion: The patterns of obesogenic behaviour require different obesity prevention strategies per gender when targeting low socioeconomic pre-adolescent children, as obesity prevalence remains at a high level in this sample.