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Impact of Lifestyle Behaviours in Early Childhood on Obesity

Adhering to a healthy lifestyle at age 4 years is associated with a decreased risk of overweight, obesity, and abdominal obesity at 7 years, according to a study published in Pediatric Obesity.

The study assessed five lifestyle behaviours – physical activity, sleep duration, television watching, ultra-processed food consumption, and plant-based food consumption – in 1,480 children when they were 4 years of age.

Limited TV time and low consumption of ultra-processed foods, along with high sleep time, physical activity, and consumption of plant-based foods, were associated with lower body mass index and waist circumference and a lower likelihood of developing overweight or obesity and abdominal obesity at age 7 years. Longer TV viewing was the lifestyle factor that was most strongly associated with the development of obesity.

Bawaked RA, et al. (2019). Impact of lifestyle behaviours in early childhood on obesity and cardiometabolic risk in children: Results from the Spanish INMA birth cohort study. Pediatric Obesity; https://doi.org/10.1111/ijpo.12590.

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