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Kremers S.P.J.,Maastricht University | Visscher T.L.S.,Research Center for the Prevention of Overweight | Visscher T.L.S.,VU University Amsterdam | Deeg D.J.H.,VU University Amsterdam | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Environmental and Public Health | Year: 2012

The objective of this cross-sectional study was to investigate differences in associations between crime rates, cycling, and weight status between people living in low and high socioeconomic status (SES) neighbourhoods. In total, 470 participants in the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam were included (age: 63-70y). Body height and weight were measured using a stadiometer and calibrated weight scale, respectively. Cycling behaviour was assessed in a face-to-face interview, and neighbourhood crime rates were assessed using data from police reports. Men residing in high SES neighbourhoods cycled more than males residing in low SES neighbourhoods. Cycling was negatively related to crime rates among both men and women living in low SES neighbourhoods. Among men living in low SES neighbourhoods, more cycling was associated with lower BMI. Interventions aiming to prevent obesity in older people may consider aiming at increasing bicycle use in lower SES neighbourhoods, but neighbourhood safety issues should be considered. © 2012 Stef P. J. Kremers et al.

Ridder M.A.M.,Windesheim University of Applied Sciences | Ridder M.A.M.,Research Center for the Prevention of Overweight | Heuvelmans M.A.,Kendle International Inc. | Visscher T.L.S.,Research Center for the Prevention of Overweight | And 2 more authors.
Health Education | Year: 2010

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate perceptions of second grade lower vocational students concerning benefits, barriers and strategies of healthy eating and physical activity. Design/methodology/approach: Focus group discussions are conducted with 37 adolescents, from three schools in The Netherlands. A semi-structured questioning-scheme is used. Recorded data are transcribed, analysed using Atlas.ti and arranged in the EnRG-framework. Findings: Adolescents find health and a healthy weight important and like having a choice when it comes to health behaviour. The choices they make, however, are often unhealthy, especially when related to food. The risk perception of these adolescents is low; as long as they feel healthy, they feel no need to change their behaviour. Parents are held responsible for providing opportunities for healthy behaviour. At the same time, parental influence lessens and adolescents start to develop unhealthy habits, usually under the influence of a peer group. Adolescents accept the interference of school, meaning that there are good opportunities for school-based interventions. Research limitations/implications: The number (37) of respondents may not be representative for the different personalities of peer-students. Practical implications: Adolescents need to take on greater responsibility for their own health behaviour, especially in the school setting where they are more autonomous than at home. More information is needed about the perceptions of parents and school staff regarding stimulating healthy dietary and physical behaviour to develop, implement and preserve integral school health interventions successfully. Originality/value: The paper provides information on adolescents' perceptions on their responsibility for their health behaviour, which is needed to develop school-based health intervention consistent with their needs. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

PubMed | Research Center for the Prevention of Overweight
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of pediatric obesity : IJPO : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity | Year: 2011

To identify neighbourhoods with increased prevalence of overweight children and to examine whether the association between neighbourhood and overweight can be explained by demographic characteristics and energy-related behaviours.This cross-sectional study was carried out among 4,072 primary schoolchildren in the city of Zwolle, The Netherlands. Data collection consisted of measured height, weight and waist circumference, and a parental questionnaire on socio-demographic characteristics, dietary and (in)activity behaviour of their child. With multivariate logistic regressions, associations between unhealthy behaviours and neighbourhoods (defined by postal code) with high and low prevalence of childhood overweight were investigated.In three neighbourhoods the prevalence of overweight was significantly higher (16.5% vs. 10.6%, p < 0.05). The odds of living in these neighbourhoods were higher among children watching >2 h television/day (OR: 1.57; 95% CI: 1.15-2.14), not eating breakfast daily (OR: 2.86; 95% CI: 1.93-4.23), drinking >3 glasses/day sugared drinks (OR: 1.23; 95% CI: 1.01-1.50) on weekdays and not participating in organized sports (OR: 1.32; 95% CI: 1.09-1.59). This odds was however lower among children eating <2 fruit/day (OR: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.69-1.00) on weekends. The association between neighbourhood and overweight altered slightly after adjustment for socio-demographic and behavioural characteristics during weekdays (OR: 1.42; 95% CI: 1.05-1.92) and weekends (OR: 1.50; 95% CI; 1.11-2.02).Three neighbourhoods with higher prevalence of overweight were identified. A small part of the association between overweight and neighbourhood is explained by socio-demographic factors and unhealthy behaviours measured in this study. Neighbourhoods with higher overweight prevalence are a priority setting for targeted interventions to prevent overweight. The association between neighbourhood and overweight needs to be explored further to understand the role the neighbourhood can play in tackling overweight.

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