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See detailPhysical activity and dietary intake of children aged 9-11 years and the influence of peers on these behaviours: a one-year follow-up.
Coppinger, Tara; Jeanes, Yvonne; Dabinett, Jacqueline et al

in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2010), 64(8), 776-781

Background: This study investigated physical activity and dietary intake of children aged 9–11 years, and the influence of peers on these behaviours over a 2-year period. Methods: A total of 106 (64 girls ... [more ▼]

Background: This study investigated physical activity and dietary intake of children aged 9–11 years, and the influence of peers on these behaviours over a 2-year period. Methods: A total of 106 (64 girls; 42 boys) children were investigated annually, over 2 years. Measures included physical activity (sealed pedometer), self-report measures of dietary intake and physical activity, and a peer influence questionnaire. Anthropometric measures of height and weight were also obtained. Results: The findings reveal insufficient energy intakes, physical activity levels and fruit and vegetable consumption but high intakes of saturated fat and sodium, over time, in both boys and girls. Both male calcium and female iron intakes were also of concern. Throughout the survey, peers were found to influence physical activity behaviour but not dietary intake. Conclusions: The fact that youth consistently failed to meet established nutrition and physical activity recommendations highlights the importance of promoting physical activity and healthy eating to children younger than 9 years of age. The finding that peers significantly influence physical activity behaviour over time should be considered when designing new physical activity interventions aimed at young people. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of peer influence on dietary intake and physical activity in school children
Finnerty, Tara; Reeves, Sue; Dabinett, Jaqueline et al

in Public Health Nutrition (2010), 13(3), 376-383

Objective: To investigate the dietary intake and physical activity of boys and girls aged 9–13 years, and the influence of peers on these behaviours. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Nine primary ... [more ▼]

Objective: To investigate the dietary intake and physical activity of boys and girls aged 9–13 years, and the influence of peers on these behaviours. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Nine primary and secondary schools in south-west London. Subjects: A total of 315 children wore sealed pedometers, provided self-report measures of dietary intake and answered a questionnaire relating to peer influence. Anthropometric measures of height and weight were also obtained. Results: Obese children had the lowest reported energy intakes and the lowest step counts per day. Boys took significantly more steps per day than girls, however girls were closer to achieving their recommended cut-offs for physical activity. Girls had lower energy intakes per day and lower BMI Z-scores than boys, however both genders, across all age groups, had higher than recommended intakes of saturated fat. There were significant associations between peer influence and physical activity levels but not between peer influence and dietary intake. Conclusions: Low energy intake and physical activity levels but high saturated fat intakes among boys and girls across all age groups highlight the importance of promoting both physical activity and healthy food choices. The finding that peers have a significant effect on physical activity levels but not on dietary intake offers an important approach for the design of health promotion interventions and obesity prevention programmes. Such designs may be particularly beneficial for obese youth, since the low physical activity levels found could be a major contributing factor to the maintenance of the condition. [less ▲]

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