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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

On-line version ISSN 1025-9848

Abstract

KEMP, Chanelle  and  PIENAAR, Anita Elizabeth. Physical activity levels and energy expenditure of 9-year-old - 12-year-old overweight and obese children. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.1, pp. 1-6. ISSN 1025-9848.

The high occurrence of overweight and obesity amongst children is a disturbing health problem worldwide. Possible causes of increasing childhood obesity are inactivity and energy imbalances. The aim of this study was to analyse the total energy expenditure (TEE) and physical activity levels in 9-year-old - 12-year-old overweight and obese children during a weekday and a weekend day, as well as during a weekday morning and afternoon. Twenty-four 9-year-old - 12-year-old children (seven boys and 17 girls), of whom nine were overweight and 15 were obese, were selected from seven public primary schools for this study. Body mass index (BMI) cut-off points were used to distinguish between overweight and obese. Each participant wore an ACTICAL™ monitor to determine their physical activity levels and TEE. It was found that the TEE of the children did not differ between a week day and a weekend day, although the TEE of the week day afternoon differed significantly from that of the weekday morning. Unlike the overweight children, none of the obese children met the requirements of 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per day. Strategies should be found to increase the activity levels of overweight and, especially, obese children, specifically during the mornings and over weekends.

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