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Differences in Energy Balance-Related Behaviours in European Preschool Children: The ToyBox-Study
Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
Medical University Varna, Varna, Bulgaria.
Medical University Varna, Varna, Bulgaria.
Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
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2015 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 10, no 3, e0118303Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The aim of the current study was to compare levels of energy balance-related behaviours (physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and dietary behaviours (more specifically water consumption, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and unhealthy snacking)) in four-to six-year-old preschoolers from six European countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Poland, and Spain) within the ToyBox cross-sectional study.

Methods: A sample of 4,045 preschoolers (4.77 +/- 0.43 years; 52.2% boys) had valid physical activity data (steps per day), parents of 8,117 preschoolers (4.78 +/- 0.46 years; 53.0% boys) completed a parental questionnaire with questions on sedentary behaviours (television viewing, computer use, and quiet play), and parents of 7,244 preschoolers (4.77 +/- 0.44 years; 52.0% boys) completed a food frequency questionnaire with questions on water consumption, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and unhealthy snacking.

Results: The highest levels of physical activity were found in Spain (12,669 steps/day on weekdays), while the lowest levels were found in Bulgaria and Greece (9,777 and 9,656 steps/day on weekdays, respectively). German preschoolers spent the least amount of time in television viewing (43.3 min/day on weekdays), while Greek preschoolers spent the most time in television viewing (88.5 min/day on weekdays). A considerable amount of time was spent in quiet play in all countries, with the highest levels in Poland (104.9 min/day on weekdays), and the lowest levels in Spain (60.4 min/day on weekdays). Belgian, German, and Polish preschoolers had the lowest intakes of water and the highest intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages. The intake of snacks was the highest in Belgian preschoolers (73.1 g/day) and the lowest in Greek preschoolers (53.3 g/day).

Conclusions: Across six European countries, differences in preschoolers' energy balance-related behaviours were found. Future interventions should target European preschoolers' energy balance-related behaviours simultaneously, but should apply country-specific adaptations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 10, no 3, e0118303
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-44685DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118303ISI: 000352138500026PubMedID: 25785738Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84925428112OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-44685DiVA: diva2:813783
Note

Funding Agency:

European Commission 245200

Available from: 2015-05-25 Created: 2015-05-25 Last updated: 2015-05-25Bibliographically approved

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Yngve, Agneta
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School of Hospitality, Culinary Arts & Meal Science, Örebro University, Grythyttan, Sweden
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