Secular trends in physical fitness and obesity in Danish 9-year-old girls and boys: Odense School Child Study and Danish substudy of the European Youth Heart Study

Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense University, Odense NV, Denmark.
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports (Impact Factor: 3.17). 07/2004; 14(3):150-5. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2004.00365.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Low physical fitness and obesity have been shown to be associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Obesity is on the increase in many countries, but little is known about physical fitness trends. Monitoring of changes in fitness and obesity in the population is important for preventive strategies, and the aim of this study was to analyse the secular trends in fitness and body composition in Danish children.
Two representative population studies were conducted 12 years apart on 9-year-old children in the same location: the Odense School Child Study in 1985-86 and the European Youth Heart Study in 1997-98. In both studies, physical fitness was determined by a maximal cycle ergometer test, and obesity was assessed by skinfolds.
Boys had a lower physical fitness and were fatter in 1997-98 than in 1985-86. In addition, an increased polarization is emerging, with the difference between the fit and the unfit and the difference between the lean and the fat being greater in 1997-98 than in 1985-86. In girls, a similar polarization was found, but no overall change in fitness or obesity.
The negative trend and increased polarization for physical fitness and obesity in Danish children suggest a future generation with a higher degree of CVD risk.

Download full-text


Available from: Lars Bo Andersen, Sep 30, 2014
  • Source
    • "Lifestyle behaviors differed between clusters, primarily among girls. Among healthy adolescent girls, there is a decline in physical activity during adolescence [25] and a polarization of cardiorespiratory fitness [26]. Public health issues, in general, aim to promote physical activity in adolescent girls and there seem to be a need ensure this also takes place in clinical practice, with great attention to health education on physical activity and healthy lifestyle behaviors. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study investigates whether subgroups of different health-related fitness (HrF) profiles exist among girls and boys with complex congenital heart disease (ConHD) and how these are associated with lifestyle behaviors. We measured the cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength, and body composition of 158 adolescents aged 13-16 years with previous surgery for a complex ConHD. Data on lifestyle behaviors were collected concomitantly between October 2010 and April 2013. A cluster analysis was conducted to identify profiles with similar HrF. For comparisons between clusters, multivariate analyses of covariance were used to test the differences in lifestyle behaviors. Three distinct profiles were formed: (1) Robust (43, 27%; 20 girls and 23 boys); (2) Moderately Robust (85, 54%; 37 girls and 48 boys); and (3) Less robust (30, 19%; 9 girls and 21 boys). The participants in the Robust clusters reported leading a physically active lifestyle and participants in the Less robust cluster reported leading a sedentary lifestyle. Diagnoses were evenly distributed between clusters. The cluster analysis attributed some of the variability in cardiorespiratory fitness among adolescents with complex ConHD to lifestyle behaviors and physical activity. Profiling of HrF offers a valuable new option in the management of person-centered health promotion. Copyright © 2015 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Adolescent Health 01/2015; 56(4). DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.11.021 · 2.75 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Furthermore, it has been suggested that the combination of adiposity and low CRF is even more predictive of CVD risk factors in children and adolescents (Lobelo et al., 2010). There is, now, evidence that fitness levels are decreasing as secular trends in obesity increase among children (Wedderkopp et al., 2004; Stratton et al., 2007), and this is the case even among lean children (Stratton et al., 2007). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To assess the association of baseline cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) with incidence of overweight over a 4.6-year period in adolescence. In a cohort of 4878 adolescents, we assessed body mass index in years 2001-2003 and 2007. CRF was assessed at baseline as maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max , mL/kg/min) using the 20-m shuttle run test and was examined against incidence of overweight at follow-up. Estimated VO2max at baseline was higher in males than in females, P < 0.001, and was lower in overweight and obese than in non-overweight subjects. The incidence of overweight at follow-up among non-overweight participants at baseline was 15.5% [95% confidence interval (CI) 13.7% to 17.3%] in males and 5.6% (95% CI 4.9% to 7.0%) in females, P < 0.001. Adjusted odds ratio for incidence of overweight in participants in the fourth quartile of VO2max was 0.40 (95%CI 0.26 to 0.61) in males and 0.57 (95% CI 0.33 to 0.99) in females in comparison with participants in the first quartiles of VO2max . Incidence of overweight was three times more frequent in males than in females. Among non-overweight at baseline, high fitness levels were inversely associated with incidence of overweight at follow-up, suggesting that interventions aiming to increase CRF in early childhood might help reverse increasing trends in obesity.
    Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 07/2013; 24(6). DOI:10.1111/sms.12097 · 3.17 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Overall, the sample-weighted mean performance decreased by 0.43% per year. Their findings are coherent with studies from Canada (Tremblay et al., 2010), Denmark (Wedderkopp et al., 2004) and Sweden (Westerstehl et al., 2003) which all indicated major reductions in most aspects of PF. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: T wenty two years ago, Armstrong (1989) reported that "Children are fit, but not active!" He described the physical activity (PA) level of over 300 British youths aged 11 to 15 years old, as measured by heart rate monitors. Armstrong reported that 50% of the girls and more than 25% of the boys did not perform any 10 minutes bout of PA at a heart rate ≥ 139 beats per minute (bpm). In addition, physical fitness (PF) was assessed with a treadmill VO 2 max test. The participants were as fit as the first children that were tested in laboratory settings 50 years before. The primary purpose of the current article is to determine if such a statement would still be tenable in 2011. Secondly, recommendations pertaining to the role of schools in promoting PA and increasing PF among the paediatric population are formulated.
    Education and Health 01/2011; 29.
Show more