Skip to main content
×
Home

Physical activity, sedentary behaviour and energy balance in the preschool child: opportunities for early obesity prevention: Symposium on ‘Behavioural nutrition and energy balance in the young'

  • John J. Reilly (a1)
Abstract

Prevalence of obesity in preschool children has increased dramatically in recent years. The preschool years (age 3–6 years) have been regarded as critical for the programming of energy balance, via the concept of early ‘adiposity rebound’. Children who undergo early adiposity rebound are at increased risk of later obesity. Recent evidence suggests that associations between timing of adiposity rebound and later obesity may not reflect programming, but might denote that ‘obesogenic’ growth trajectories are often established by the preschool period. Studies of objectively-measured physical activity and sedentary behaviour in preschool children show that levels of physical activity are typically low and sedentary behaviour high. The review of evidence presented here is supportive of the hypothesis that physical activity is protective against obesity in the preschool period, and that sedentary behaviour, particularly television viewing, is obesogenic. Definitive evidence on dose–response relationships between physical activity, sedentary behaviour and obesity remain unclear. Dose–response evidence could be obtained fairly readily by intervention and longitudinal observational studies that use accelerometry in preschool children. The generalisability of much of the evidence base is limited and there is a need for research on the influence of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in the preschool years in the aetiology of obesity in the developing world.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Physical activity, sedentary behaviour and energy balance in the preschool child: opportunities for early obesity prevention
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Physical activity, sedentary behaviour and energy balance in the preschool child: opportunities for early obesity prevention
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Physical activity, sedentary behaviour and energy balance in the preschool child: opportunities for early obesity prevention
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
Corresponding author: Professor John J. Reilly, fax +44 141 201 0710, email jjr2y@clinmed.gla.ac.uk
References
Hide All
1.Lobstein T, Baur L & Uauy R (2004) Obesity in children and young people: a crisis in public health. Obes Rev 5, 485.
2.Reilly JJ (2006) Tackling the obesity epidemic: new approaches. Arch Dis Child 91, 724726.
3.Dietz WH (1994) Critical periods in childhood for the development of obesity. Am J Clin Nutr 59, 995999.
4.Rolland-Cachera MF, Deheeger M, Bellisle F, Sempe M, Guilloud-Bataille M & Patois E (1984) Adiposity rebound in children: a simple indicator for predicting adiposity. Am J Clin Nutr 39, 129135.
5.Whitaker RC, Pepe MS, Wright JA, Seidel KD & Dietz WH (1998) Early adiposity rebound and the risk of adult obesity. Pediatrics 101, e5e11.
6.Dietz WH (2000) Adiposity rebound: reality or epiphenomenon? Lancet 356, 20272029.
7.Cole TJ (2004) Children grow and horses race: is the adiposity rebound a critical period for later obesity? BMC Pediatr 4, 69.
8.Taylor RW, Grant AM, Goulding A & Williams SM (2005) Early adiposity rebound. Curr Op Clin Nutr Met Care 8, 607612.
9.Taylor RW, Goulding A, Lewis-Barned NJ & Williams SM (2004) Rate of fat gain is faster in girls undergoing early adiposity rebound. Obes Res 12, 12281230.
10.Reilly JJ, Jackson DM, Montgomery C, Kelly LA, Fisher A, Paton JY & Grant S (2004) Total energy expenditure and physical activity in young Scottish children: mixed longitudinal study. Lancet 363, 211212.
11.Armstrong J, Dorosty AR, Reilly JJ & Emmett PM (2003) Co-existence of social inequalities in under-nutrition and obesity in preschool children: population-based cross-sectional study. Arch Dis Child 88, 671675.
12.Kinra S, Nelder RP & Lewenden GJ (2000) Deprivation and childhood obesity: a cross-sectional study of 20,973 children in Plymouth, UK. J Epidemiol Comm Health 54, 456460.
13.Davey-Smith G (2007) Life-course approaches to inequalities in adult chronic disease risk. Proc Nutr Soc 66, 216236.
14.Wake M, Hardy P, Cantesford L, Sawyer M & Carlin JB (2007) Overweight, obesity, and girth of Australian preschoolers: prevalence and socio-economic correlates. Int J Obes (Lond) 31, 10441051.
15.Sherry BL, Mei Z, Scanlon KS, Mokdad A & Grummer-Strawn L (2004) Trends in state-specific prevalence of overweight and underweight in 2–4 year old children from low income families 1984–2000. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 158, 11161124.
16.Armstrong J & Reilly JJ (2003) Use of the National Child Health Surveillance System for monitoring obesity, overweight, and underweight in Scottish children. Scot Med J 48, 3237.
17.Kalies H, Lerz J & Von Kries R (2002) Prevalence of overweight and obesity and trends in BMI in German preschool children, 1982–1997. Int J Obes (Lond) 26, 12111217.
18.Freeman JV, Cole TJ, Chinn S, Jones PRM, White EM & Preece MA (1995) Cross sectional stature and weight reference curves for the UK. Arch Dis Child 73, 1724.
19.Whitaker RC & Orzol SM (2006) Obesity among US urban preschool children: relationship to race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 160, 578584.
20.Dorosty AR, Siassi F & Reilly JJ (2002) Obesity in Iranian children. Arch Dis Child 87, 388391.
21.Hawkins SS, Cole TJ & Law C (2008) Maternal employment and early childhood overweight. Int J Obes (Lond) 32, 3038.
22.Reilly JJ, Armstrong J, Dorosty AR, Emmett PM, Ness AR, Rogers I, Steer C & Sherriff A (2005) Early life risk factors for childhood obesity: cohort study. Br Med J 330, 13571362.
23.Ekelund U, Ong K, Linne Y, Neovius M, Brage S, Dunger SB, Wareham NJ & Rossner S (2006) Upward percentile crossing in infancy and early childhood independently predicts fat mass in young adults. Am J Clin Nutr 83, 324330.
24.Huus K, Ludvigsson JF, Enska K & Ludvigsson J (2007) Risk factors in childhood obesity: findings from the All Babies in South-East Sweden (ABIS) cohort. Acta Paediatr 96, 13211325.
25.Li C, Goran MI, Kaur H, Nollen N & Ahluwalia JS (2007) Developmental trajectories of overweight during childhood: role of early life factors. Obesity 15, 760771.
26.Nader PR, O'Brien M, Houts R, Bradley R, Belsky J, Crosroe R, Friedmanm S, Mei Z & Susman EJ (2006) Identifying risk for obesity in early childhood. Pediatrics 118, e594e601.
27.Freedman DS, Khan LK, Serdula LK, Dietz WH, Srinivasan SR & Berenson GS (2005). Racial differences in the tracking of childhood BMI to adulthood. Obes Res 13, 928935.
28.Hughes AR, Stewart L, Chapple J, Donaldson M, Zabihollah M, Ahmed SF, Kelnar CZH & Reilly JJ (2008) Randomized controlled trial of a best practice individualized behavioral program for treatment of childhood overweight: Scottish Childhood Overweight Treatment Trial (SCOTT). Pediatrics 121, e539e546.
29.Quattrin T, Liu E & Shaw N (2005) Obese children who are referred to the pediatric endocrinologist: characteristics and outcome. Pediatrics 115, 348351.
30.Reilly JJ, Kelly A, Ness P, Dorosty AR, Wallace WHB, Gibson BES & Emmett PM (2001) Premature adiposity rebound in children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 86, 27752778.
31.Rolland-Cachera MF (1999) Obesity among adolescents: evidence for the importance of early nutrition. In Human Growth in Context, pp. 245258 [Johnston FE, Zemel B and Eveleth PB editors]. London: Smith-Gordon.
32.Baird J, Fisher D, Lucus P, Kleinjen J, Roberts H & Law C (2005) Being big or growing fast?: systematic review of size and growth in infancy and later obesity. Br Med J 331, 929934.
33.Janz KF, Gilmore JM, Levy SM, Letuchy EM, Burns TL & Beck TJ (2007) Physical activity and femoral neck bone strength during childhood: the Iowa Bone Development Study. Bone 41, 216222.
34.Oliver M, Schofield GM & Kolt GS (2008) Physical activity in preschoolers: understanding prevalence and measurement issues. Sports Med (In the Press).
35.Finn KJ, Johannsen N & Specker B (2002) Factors associated with physical activity in preschool children. J Pediatr 140, 8185.
36.Jackson DM, Reilly JJ, Kelly LA, Montgomery C, Grant S & Paton JY (2003) Objectively measured physical activity in 3–4 year old children. Obes Res 11, 420425.
37.Reilly JJ, Coyle J, Kelly LA, Burke GB, Grant S & Paton JY (2003) An objective method for measurement of sedentary behavior in 3–4 year olds. Obes Res 11, 11551158.
38.Reilly JJ, Montgomery C, Jackson DM, MacRitchie J & Armstrong J (2001) Energy intake by multiple pass 24-hour recall and total energy expenditure: a comparison in a representative sample of 3–4 year olds. Br J Nutr 86, 601605.
39.Montgomery C, Reilly JJ, Jackson DM, Kelly LA, Slater C, Paton JY & Grant S (2005) Validation of energy intake by 24-hour multiple pass recall: comparison with total energy expenditure in primary school age children. Br J Nutr 94, 5663.
40.Reilly JJ, Penpraze V, Hislop J, Davies G, Grant S & Paton JY (2008) Objective measurement of physical activity and sedentary behaviour: review with new data. Arch Dis Child (In the Press).
41.Reilly JJ, Ness AR & Sherriff A (2007) Epidemiological and physiological approaches to understanding the etiology of pediatric obesity: finding the needle in the haystack. Pediatr Res 61, 646652.
42.Ness AR, Leary SD, Rogers IS, Wells JC, Mattocks C, Reilly JJ, Davey-Smith G & Riddoch C (2007) Objectively measured physical activity and fat mass in a large cohort of children. PLOS Med 4, e97e101.
43.Andersen LB, Nacro M, Sardinha LB, Froberg K, Ekelund U, Brage S & Andersen SA (2006) Physical activity and clustered cardiovascular risk in children. Lancet 368, 299304.
44.Finn KJ & Specker B (2000) Comparison of Actiwatch activity monitor and Children's Activity Rating Scale in children. Med Sci Sports Exerc 32, 17941797.
45.Sirard JR, Trost SG, Pfeiffer KA, Dowda M & Pate RR (2005) Calibration and evaluation of an objective measure of physical activity in preschool children. J Phys Act Health 3, 325336.
46.Pate RR, Almeida MJ, McIver KL, Pfeiffer KA & Dowda M (2006) Validation and calibration of an accelerometer in preschool children. Obesity 14, 20002006.
47.Fairweather SC, Reilly JJ, Grant S, Whittaker A & Paton JY (1999) Using the CSA activity monitor in preschool children. Pediatr Exerc Sci 11, 414421.
48.Troiano RP, Berrigan D, Dodd KW, Masse LC, Tilert T & McDowell M (2008). Physical activity in the US measured by accelerometer. Med Sci Sports Exerc 40, 181188.
49.Biddle SJ, Gorely T, Marshall SJ, Murdey I & Cameron NJ (2004) Physical activity and sedentary behaviours in youth: issues and controversies. J Roy Soc Health 124, 2933.
50.Gordon-Larsen P, McMurray RG & Popkin BM (2000) Determinants of adolescent physical activity and inactivity patterns. Pediatrics 195, e83e87.
51.Gortmaker SL, Peterson K, Wiecha J, Sobol AM, Dixit S, Fox MK & Laird N (1999) Reducing obesity via a school-based interdisciplinary intervention among youth: Planet Health. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 53, 409418.
52.Robinson TN (1999) Reducing children's television viewing to prevent obesity: a randomised controlled trial. JAMA 282, 15611567.
53.Reilly JJ, Kelly L, Montgomery C, Williamson A, Fisher A, McColl JH, Lo Conte R, Paton JY & Grant S (2006) Physical activity to prevent obesity in young children: cluster randomised controlled trial. Br Med J 333, 10411045.
54.Pate RR, Pfeiffer KA, Trost SG, Ziegler P & Dowda M (2004) Physical activity among children attending preschools. Pediatrics 114, 12581263.
55.Jago R, Baranowski T, Baranowski JC, Thompson D & Greaves KA (2005) BMI from 3–6 years of age is predicted by TV viewing and physical activity, not diet. Int J Obes (Lond) 29, 557564.
56.Reilly JJ (2005) Prevalence and Causes of Childhood Obesity. CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Sciences Nutrition and Natural Resources, vol. 1, no. 2. Wallingford, Oxon.: CABI; DOI: 10.70ay/PAVSNHR2005.1002.
57.Wareham NJ, Ven Sluis EM & Ekelund U (2005) Physical activity and obesity prevention: a review of the current evidence. Proc Nutr Soc 64, 229247.
58.Stead M, Hastings G & McDermott L (2007) The meaning, effectiveness and future of social marketing. Obes Rev 8, Suppl. 1, 189193.
59.Must A & Tybor DJ (2005) Physical activity and sedentary behavior: a review of longitudinal studies of weight and adiposity in youth. Int J Obes (Lond) 29, s84s96.
60.Montgomery C, Reilly JJ, Jackson DM, Kelly LA, Slater C, Paton JY & Grant S (2004) Relation between physical activity and energy expenditure in a representative sample of young children. Am J Clin Nutr 80, 591596.
61.Cardon G & de Bourdeauhuij I (2007) Comparison of pedometer and accelerometer measures of physical activity in preschool children. Pediatr Exerc Sci 19, 205214.
62.McKee DP, Boreham CAG, Murphy MH & Nevill AM (2005) Validation of the Digiwalker pedometer for measuring physical activity in young children. Pediatr Exerc Sci 17, 345352.
63.Burdette HL & Whitaker RC (2005) Resurrecting free play in young children: looking beyond fitness and fatness to attention, affiliation, and affect. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 159, 4650.
64.Christakis DA, Zimmerman FJ, Di-Giuseppe DL & McCarty CA (2004) Early television exposure and subsequent attentional problems in children. Pediatrics 113, 708713.
65.Dennison BA, Erb TA & Jenkins PL (2002) Television viewing and television in bedroom associated with overweight risk among low-income preschool children. Pediatrics 109, 10281035.
66.Taveras EM, Sandora TJ, Shih MC, Degnan DR, Goldman DA & Gillman MW (2006) The association of television and video viewing with fast food intake by preschool-age children. Obesity 14, 20342041.
67.Hancox RJ & Poulton R (2006) Watching television is associated with childhood obesity but is it clinically important? Int J Obes (Lond) 30, 171175.
68.Viner RM & Cole TJ (2005) Television viewing in early childhood predicts adult body mass index. J Pediatr 147, 429435.
69.Vandewater EA, Rideout VJ, Wartella EA, Huang X, Lee JH & Shim MS (2007) Digital childhood: electronic media and technology use among infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Pediatrics 119, e1006e1015.
70.Summerbell CD, Ashton V, Campbell KJ, Edmunds L, Kelly S & Waters E (2003) Interventions for treating obesity in children. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2003, issue 3, CD001872. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.
71.Summerbell CD, Waters E, Edmunds LD, Kelly S, Brown T & Campbell KJ (2005) Interventions for preventing obesity in children. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, issue 1, CD001871. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.
72.Reilly JJ, Wilson M, Summerbell CD & Wilson DC (2002) Obesity diagnosis, prevention, and treatment: evidence based answers to common questions. Arch Dis Child 86, 312395.
73.National Health and Medical Research Council (2003) Clinical practice guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/wcms/Publishing.nsf/Content/obesityguidelines-guidelines-children.htm (accessed March 2008).
74.Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes (2004) Addressing childhood obesity: the evidence for action. www.irsc.gc.ca/e/23293.html (accessed March 2008).
75.Barlow SE & Dietz WH (1998). Obesity evaluation and treatment: expert committee recommendations. Pediatrics 192, e29e34.
76.Certain LK & Kahn RS (2002) Prevalence, correlates, and trajectory of television viewing among infants and toddlers. Pediatrics 109, 634642.
77.The Scottish Government (2005) Scottish Health Survey 2003 results. Children report. chapters 1–10. www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2005/11/25145024/50251 (accessed March 2008).
78.Strong WB, Malina RM, Blinke CJR et al. (2005) Evidence-based physical activity for school-age youth. J Pediatr 146, 732737.
79.Hawkins SS & Law C (2006) A review of risk factors for overweight in preschool children: a policy perspective. Int J Pediatr Obes 1, 195209.
80.Van Sluijs EM, McMinn AM & Griffin SJ (2007) Effectiveness of interventions to promote physical activity in children and adolescents: systematic review of controlled trials. Br Med J 335, 703707.
81.Janz KF (2006) Physical activity in epidemiology: moving from questionnaire to objective measurement. Br J Sports Med 40, 191192.
82.Fitzgibbon ML, Stolley MR, Schiffer L, Van-Horn L, Kaufer-Christoffel K & Dyer A (2006) Hip Hop to Health Junior for Latino preschool children. Obesity 14, 16161625.
83.Fitzgibbon ML, Stolley MR, Schiffer L, VanHorn L, Kaufer-Christoffel K & Dyer A (2005) Two-year follow-up results for Hip Hop to Health Junior. J Pediatr 146, 618625.
84.Janz KF, Burns TL & Levy SM (2005) Tracking of activity and sedentary behaviors in childhood. Am J Prev Med 29, 172178.
85.Yang X, Telema R, Leskinen E, Mansikkaniemi K, Viikari J & Raitakari OT (2007) Testing a model of physical activity and obesity tracking from youth to adulthood. Int J Obes (Lond) 31, 521527.
86.Lumeng JC, Rahnama S, Appugliese D, Kacioti N & Bradley RH (2006) Television exposure and overweight risk in preschoolers. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 160, 417422.
87.Jouret B, Ahluwalia N, Cristini C, Dupay D, Negre-Pages L, Grandjean H & Tauber M (2007) Factors associated with overweight in preschool age children in South Western France. Am J Clin Nutr 85, 16431649.
88.Lioret S, Touvier M, Lafay L, Volatier JL & Maire B (2008) Dietary and physical activity patterns in French children are related to overweight and socio-economic status. J Nutr 138, 101107.
89.Metallinos-Katsaras ES, Freedson PS, Fulton JE & Sherry B (2007) The association between an objective measure of physical activity and weight status in preschoolers. Obesity 15, 686694.
90.Moschonis G, Grammatikakis E & Manios Y (2008) Perinatal predictors of overweight at infancy and preschool childhood: the GENESIS Study. Int J Obes (Lond) 32, 3947.
91.L'Abee C, Sauer PJJ, Damen M, Rake JP, Cats H & Stolk RP (2007) The GECKO Drenthe Study: overweight programming during early childhood. Int J Epidemiol (In the Press).
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Proceedings of the Nutrition Society
  • ISSN: 0029-6651
  • EISSN: 1475-2719
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-nutrition-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 95
Total number of PDF views: 913 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1090 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.