Is Boys’ Physical Activity in Childhood associated with being Overweight in Mid-Adulthood? A Longitudinal Study Spanning 35 Years

L. B. Sherar, R. L. Mirwald, M. C. Erlandson, A. D. G. Baxter-Jones


The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of childhood physical activity (PA) on subsequent adult body mass. Using longitudinal data from the Saskatchewan Growth and Development Study (1964 – 1973), PA, height, body mass and percent body fat were assessed on 207 males (age 7 years at study entry). Subjects were categorized into activity groups based on annual composite activity assessments. 58 participants returned during adulthood (between 39-41 years of age) when similar anthropometric measurements were taken. Childhood PA groupings were significantly related to adult BMI, but not body fat. The more active child had a greater BMI in adulthood (P<0.05). The results from this study indicate that the active child, in this sample, is not protected against overweight/obesity in adulthood.

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