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Ljubljana, Slovenia

Bjornara H.B.,University of Agder | Vik F.N.,University of Agder | Brug J.,VU University Amsterdam | Manios Y.,Harokopio University | And 6 more authors.
Public Health Nutrition | Year: 2014

Objective: The main objective was to assess the relationship of breakfast skipping, television (TV) viewing at breakfast and breakfast without TV with weight status among parents of 10-12-year-olds in eight European countries. Design: A cross-sectional survey assessed breakfast eating and TV viewing at breakfast by three frequency questions and parents were categorized into: (i) breakfast skippers; (ii) breakfast with TV (TV watchers at breakfast); and (iii) breakfast without TV (breakfast eaters who do not watch TV during breakfast). Self-reported weight and height were used to categorize weight status as underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted with weight status as the dependent variable and breakfast habits as predictors, adjusting for sex, ethnicity and level of education. Setting: The survey was conducted in 2010 in 199 primary schools across eight European countries participating in the ENERGY (EuropeaN Energy balance Research to prevent excessive weight Gain among Youth) cross-sectional study. Subjects Parents (n 6512) of 10-12-year-olds responded to the questionnaire. Results In the total study sample, with breakfast without TV as the reference group and adjusting for sex, ethnicity and level of education, the OR of being respectively overweight or obese (compared with normal weight) was 1·2 (95 % CI 1·0, 1·4) or 1·8 (95 % CI 1·5, 2·3) for breakfast skippers. The OR of being respectively underweight or obese was 0·5 (95 % CI 0·2, 0·9) or 1·4 (95 % CI 1·1, 1·8) for breakfast with TV. Conclusions: Breakfast skippers were significantly more likely to be overweight and obese, and those eating breakfast while watching TV were significantly more likely to be obese and less likely to be underweight. © The Authors 2013.


Cameron A.J.,Deakin University | Cameron A.J.,VU University Amsterdam | Van Stralen M.M.,VU University Amsterdam | Brug J.,VU University Amsterdam | And 9 more authors.
Pediatric Obesity | Year: 2013

Aims: A television in the bedroom is associated with measures of adiposity. We aimed to test if this association is mediated by any of (i) time spent watching television, (ii) sleep duration, (iii) physical activity level or (iv) consumption of soft drinks. Method: Data were from 7234 boys and girls aged 10-12 years in European countries involved in the EuropeaN Energy balance Research to prevent excessive weight Gain among Youth project (Belgium, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia and Spain). Waist circumference, height and weight were measured. The presence of a bedroom television, television viewing time, sleep duration, physical activity time and soft drink consumption were assessed by standardized questionnaires. Results: Almost 40% of schoolchildren had a bedroom television, with the highest percentage among Hungarian children (65%) and lowest for Belgian, Slovenian and Spanish children (all 28%). A television in the bedroom was positively associated with time spent watching television, soft drink consumption and overweight and obesity (all p < 0.001). The relationship between a television in the bedroom and measures of body size was partly mediated by total television viewing time (proportion mediated for waist circumference 8.9%; for body mass index 8.3%) but not sleep duration, physical activity time or soft drink consumption. Conclusion: The strong association between a television in the bedroom and adiposity was at least partially mediated by television viewing time. The large proportion of European schoolchildren with a television in their bedroom is of concern. Parents should be aware of the potential consequences when placing a television in a child's bedroom and children should limit viewing time. © 2012 International Association for the Study of Obesity.


Fernandez-Alvira J.M.,University of Zaragoza | De Bourdeaudhuij I.,Ghent University | Singh A.S.,VU University Amsterdam | Vik F.N.,University of Agder | And 5 more authors.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity | Year: 2013

Background: Recent research and literature reviews show that, among schoolchildren, some specific energy balance-related behaviors (EBRBs) are relevant for overweight and obesity prevention. It is also well known that the prevalence of overweight and obesity is considerably higher among schoolchildren from lower socio-economic backgrounds. This study examines whether sugared drinks intake, physical activity, screen time and usual sleep duration cluster in reliable and meaningful ways among European children, and whether the identified clusters could be characterized by parental education. Methods: The cross-sectional study comprised a total of 5284 children (46% male), from seven European countries participating in the ENERGY-project (" EuropeaN Energy balance Research to prevent excessive weight Gain among Youth"). Information on sugared drinks intake, physical activity, screen time and usual sleep duration was obtained using validated self-report questionnaires. Based on these behaviors, gender-specific cluster analysis was performed. Associations with parental education were identified using chi-square tests and odds ratios. Results: Five meaningful and stable clusters were found for both genders. The cluster with high physical activity level showed the highest proportion of participants with highly educated parents, while clusters with high sugared drinks consumption, high screen time and low sleep duration were more prevalent in the group with lower educated parents. Odds ratio showed that children with lower educated parents were less likely to be allocated in the active cluster and more likely to be allocated in the low activity/sedentary pattern cluster. Conclusions: Children with lower educated parents seemed to be more likely to present unhealthier EBRBs clustering, mainly characterized by their self-reported time spent on physical activity and screen viewing. Therefore, special focus should be given to lower educated parents and their children in order to develop effective primary prevention strategies. © 2013 Fernández-Alvira et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Lien N.,University of Oslo | Van Stralen M.M.,University Medical Center | Androutsos O.,Harokopio University | Bere E.,University of Agder | And 7 more authors.
Health and Place | Year: 2014

The school is an important setting for promoting healthy eating especially at the transition from childhood to adolescence. This study contributes to the literature by describing practices within physical, political and sociocultural aspects of the school nutrition environment in seven countries across Europe based on questionnaires to the school management, and exploring their associations with soft drink consumption reported on questionnaires by 10-12 year olds. Several of the commonly self-reported practices could be supportive of a healthy diet (time to eat, access to water, restriction on marketing), but some practices were underutilized (i.e. discussion with stakeholders, healthy foods at events). Only a few associations of practices with the pupils' soft drink consumption were found. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Fernandez-Alvira J.M.,VU University Amsterdam | Fernandez-Alvira J.M.,University of Zaragoza | te Velde S.J.,VU University Amsterdam | De Bourdeaudhuij I.,Ghent University | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity | Year: 2013

Background: It is well known that the prevalence of overweight and obesity is considerably higher among youth from lower socio-economic families, but there is little information about the role of some energy balance-related behaviors in the association between socio-economic status and childhood overweight and obesity. The objective of this paper was to assess the possible mediation role of energy balance-related behaviors in the association between parental education and children's body composition.Methods: Data were obtained from the cross sectional study of the " EuropeaN Energy balance Research to prevent excessive weight Gain among Youth" (ENERGY) project. 2121 boys and 2516 girls aged 10 to 12 from Belgium, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia and Spain were included in the analyses. Data were obtained via questionnaires assessing obesity related dietary, physical activity and sedentary behaviors and basic anthropometric objectively measured indicators (weight, height, waist circumference). The possible mediating effect of sugared drinks intake, breakfast consumption, active transportation to school, sports participation, TV viewing, computer use and sleep duration in the association between parental education and children's body composition was explored via MacKinnon's product-of-coefficients test in single and multiple mediation models. Two different body composition indicators were included in the models, namely Body Mass Index and waist circumference.Results: The association between parental education and children's body composition was partially mediated by breakfast consumption, sports participation, TV viewing and computer use. Additionally, a suppression effect was found for sugared drinks intake. No mediation effect was found for active transportation and sleep duration. The significant mediators explained a higher proportion of the association between parental education and waist circumference compared to the association between parental education and BMI.Conclusions: Tailored overweight and obesity prevention strategies in low SES preadolescent populations should incorporate specific messages focusing on the importance of encouraging daily breakfast consumption, increasing sports participation and decreasing TV viewing and computer use. However, longitudinal research to support these findings is needed. © 2013 Fernández-Alvira et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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