Research Study Abstract

Independent Mobility in Relation to Energy Intake in Schoolchildren

  • Added on June 15, 2012

Purpose Children’s independent mobility may correlate with physical activity; however it may also expose them to more sweet and fast food shops, potentially explaining the caloric intake in young people. This cross-sectional study investigated whether independent mobility is preadolescents was related to caloric intake.

Methods Six hundred and thirty six 10-15 years old boys and girls children were recruited from 10 schools in a large Portuguese city between September 2010 and July 2011. Measures included a scale for independent mobility using eleven questions which were part of a self-completed questionnaire (reduced to one dimension using Categorical principal components analysis, Cronbach alpha = 0.901), the 24h dietary recall for the assessment food intake, accelerometer-based (ActiGraph GT1M; ActiGraph, FL, USA) moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), height (m) and weight (kg), and pubertal status (Tanner stages). Body mass index (BMI) was calculated (weight in kg divided by height in meters squared).

Results Boys had greater independent mobility, calories intake, and MVPA (average minutes per day) compared to girls. In linear regression analyses (adjusting for age, sex, MVPA, pubertal status and BMI) higher scores for independent mobility were significantly (p = 0.013) related to higher calories intake.

Conclusions The opportunity for children to move around in their neighborhood unaccompanied by an adult appears to be an important independent correlate of calories intake for preadolescent boys and girls. Therefore, independent mobility while in part may promote spontaneous PA, the net result may be null if food intake increase.