[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess the effects of a six-month pedometer-based workplace intervention on changes in resting blood pressure (BP) and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF).
A subsample of ASUKI Step participants (n= 355) were randomly selected to have changes in their BP and CRF monitored during the intervention. Pedometers were used to monitor steps taken with a goal of walking more than 10,000 steps/day. Systolic and diastolic BP were taken using an Omron automated BP cuff. Estimated VO2 max was obtained using the Åstrand-Rhyming cycle ergometer test. A multi-level growth modeling approach, and a mixed model ANOVA were used to predict changes in systolic and diastolic BP, and estimated VO2 max over time by steps, age, gender, and university site.
Steps/day averaged 12,256 (SD = 3,180) during month 1 and steadily decreased to month 6. There were significant linear and quadratic trends in systolic and diastolic BP over time. Age was positively related to initial starting values for systolic and diastolic BP, and approached significance for systolic BP changes over time. Steps/day approached significance for linear changes in systolic BP. There was a significant difference between ASU and KI participants' estimated VO2 max. There was a significant change over time in the estimated VO2 max. The number of steps taken was significantly related to changes in estimated VO2 max over time.
The results of the present study indicate that healthy individuals who took part in a pedometer intervention improved several cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Asian journal of sports medicine. 06/2013; 4(2):114-124.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: We describe the study design and methods used in a 9-month pedometer-based worksite intervention called "ASUKI Step" conducted at the Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Stockholm, Sweden and Arizona State University (ASU) in the greater Phoenix area, Arizona. Methods/design "ASUKI Step" was based on the theory of social support and a quasi-experimental design was used for evaluation. Participants included 2,118 faculty, staff, and graduate students from ASU (n = 712) and KI (n = 1,406) who participated in teams of 3--4 persons. The intervention required participants to accumulate 10,000 steps each day for six months, with a 3-month follow-up period. Steps were recorded onto a study-specific website. Participants completed a website-delivered questionnaire four times to identify socio-demographic, health, psychosocial and environmental correlates of study participation. One person from each team at each university location was randomly selected to complete physical fitness testing to determine their anthropometric and cardiovascular health and to wear an accelerometer for one week. Study aims were: 1) to have a minimum of 400 employee participants from each university site reach a level of 10, 000 steps per day on at least 100 days (3.5 months) during the trial period; 2) to have 70% of the employee participants from each university site maintain two or fewer inactive days per week, defined as a level of less than 3,000 steps per day; 3) to describe the socio-demographic, psychosocial, environmental and health-related determinants of success in the intervention; and 4) to evaluate the effects of a pedometer-based walking intervention in a university setting on changes in self-perceived health and stress level, sleep patterns, anthropometric measures and fitness. Incentives were given for compliance to the study protocol that included weekly raffles for participation prizes and a grand finale trip to Arizona or Sweden for teams with most days over 10,000 steps. DISCUSSION: "ASUKI Step" is designed to increase the number of days employees walk 10,000 steps and to reduce the number of days employees spend being inactive. The study also evaluates the intra- and interpersonal determinants for success in the intervention and in a sub-sample of the study, changes in physical fitness and body composition during the study. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials NCT01537939.
BMC Public Health 08/2012; 12(1):657. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Swedish school children living in rural areas and in areas with low education are at excess risk of becoming overweight. This study examines influences of societal and individual characteristics (children and their parents) on prevalence of overweight and obesity, in a national sample of 7-9-year-old children.
Anthropometric and lifestyle data were collected in a nationally representative sample of 3636 Swedish children. Overweight and obesity (International Obesity Task Force (IOTF)) data were analyzed in relation to lifestyle factors, parental weight, education and breast-feeding.
The prevalence of overweight was 15.6% including 2.6% obese. Urbanization level and parental characteristics (weight status and education) were related to risk of overweight. Overall less favorable lifestyle characteristics were observed in rural areas and for children of low/medium educated mothers. Boys had greater risk of obesity in semi-urban and rural areas but this was not true for girls. For children's overweight, the living area effect was attenuated in multivariate analysis, while there was an association with origin of parents, high parental weight and medium maternal education. For obesity, the living area effect remained in boys while having two non-Nordic parents predicted obesity in girls. Parental weight status was associated with obesity in both girls and boys.
Individual and societal factors influence children's weight status, and parental weight status is a strong determinant. Including overweight and obese parents in future health promoting interventions could be a strategy to prevent children from becoming overweight, but identifying those parents may prove difficult. To ensure reaching children with the greatest needs, targeting high risk areas might be a more effective approach.
International journal of obesity (2005) 05/2012; 36(7):969-76. · 5.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To increase knowledge about reliability and intermethods agreement for body fat (BF) is of interest for assessment, interpretation, and comparison purposes. It was aimed to examine intra- and inter-rater reliability, interday variability, and degree of agreement for BF using air-displacement plethysmography (Bod-Pod), dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), and skinfold measurements in European adolescents. Fifty-four adolescents (25 females) from Zaragoza and 30 (14 females) from Stockholm, aged 13-17 years participated in this study. Two trained raters in each center assessed BF with Bod-Pod, DXA, BIA, and anthropometry (DXA only in Zaragoza). Intermethod agreement and reliability were studied using a 4-way ANOVA for the same rater on the first day and two additional measurements on a second day, one each rater. Technical error of measurement (TEM) and percentage coefficient of reliability (%R) were also reported. No significant intrarater, inter-rater, or interday effect was observed for %BF for any method in either of the cities. In Zaragoza, %BF was significantly different when measured by Bod-Pod and BIA in comparison with anthropometry and DXA (all P < 0.001). The same result was observed in Stockholm (P < 0.001), except that DXA was not measured. Bod-Pod, DXA, BIA, and anthropometry are reliable for %BF repeated assessment within the same day by the same or different raters or in consecutive days by the same rater. Bod-Pod showed close agreement with BIA as did DXA with anthropometry; however, Bod-Pod and BIA presented higher values of %BF than anthropometry and DXA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To present the prevalence and urban-rural differences of overweight and obesity in 7-9-year-old Swedish schoolchildren, we used anthropometric data from a nationally representative survey performed in 2008. Trained staff weighed and measured 4538 children in grades 1 and 2 in 94 primary schools. Weight classification was performed using the IOTF reference and school areas were classified based on level of urbanization and area-level education. Overweight was found in 17% of the children including 3% obese. For overweight, odds-ratios were 1.33 and 1.61 (significant) in semi-urban and rural areas, relative to urban areas. After adjusting for area-level education, differences by degree of urbanisation were greatly attenuated and non-significant. For obesity urban-rural differences were observed in boys only and remained after adjustment for area-level education. For area-level education, risk estimates were significantly elevated and unaffected by urbanization and gender, odds-ratios 1.75 and 2.21 for overweight and 2.62 and 3.69 for obesity, in medium- and low-education areas compared to high-education areas. This supports earlier reports identifying areas with low socioeconomic status as high-risk areas for overweight and obesity. However, this study also suggests that gender should be considered when targeting children in urban as well as rural communities for health promoting interventions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dietary polyamines have been shown to give a significant contribution to the body pool of polyamines. Knowing the levels of polyamines (putrescine, spermidine, and spermine) in different foods and the contribution of daily food choice to polyamine intake is of interest, due to the association of these bioactive amines to health and disease.
To estimate polyamine intake and food contribution to this intake in adolescents compared to a diet fulfilling the Swedish Nutrition Recommendations.
A cross-sectional study of dietary intake in adolescents and an 'ideal diet' (Swedish nutrition recommendations objectified [SNO]) list of foods was used to compute polyamine intake using a database of polyamine contents of foods. For polyamine intake estimation, 7-day weighed food records collected from 93 adolescents were entered into dietetic software (Dietist XP) including data on polyamine contents of foods. The content of polyamines in foods recommended according to SNO was entered in the same way.
The adolescents' mean daily polyamine intake was 316±170 µmol/day, while the calculated contribution according to SNO was considerably higher with an average polyamine intake of 541 µmol/day. In both adolescent's intake and SNO, fruits contributed to almost half of the total polyamine intake. The reason why the intake among the adolescents was lower than the one calculated from SNO was mainly due to the low vegetable consumption in the adolescents group.
The average daily total polyamine intake was similar to that previously reported in Europe. With an 'ideal' diet according to Swedish nutrition recommendations, the intake of this bioactive non-nutrient would be higher than that reported by our adolescents and also higher than that previously reported from Europe.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Knowing the levels of polyamines (putrescine, spermidine, and spermine) in different foods is of interest due to the association of these bioactive nutrients to health and diseases. There is a lack of relevant information on their contents in foods.
To develop a food polyamine database from published data by which polyamine intake and food contribution to this intake can be estimated, and to determine the levels of polyamines in Swedish dairy products.
Extensive literature search and laboratory analysis of selected Swedish dairy products. Polyamine contents in foods were collected using an extensive literature search of databases. Polyamines in different types of Swedish dairy products (milk with different fat percentages, yogurt, cheeses, and sour milk) were determined using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) equipped with a UV detector.
Fruits and cheese were the highest sources of putrescine, while vegetables and meat products were found to be rich in spermidine and spermine, respectively. The content of polyamines in cheese varied considerably between studies. In analyzed Swedish dairy products, matured cheese had the highest total polyamine contents with values of 52.3, 1.2, and 2.6 mg/kg for putrescine, spermidine, and spermine, respectively. Low fat milk had higher putrescine and spermidine, 1.2 and 1.0 mg/kg, respectively, than the other types of milk.
The database aids other researchers in their quest for information regarding polyamine intake from foods. Connecting the polyamine contents in food with the Swedish Food Database allows for estimation of polyamine contents per portion.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate if dietary energy density is associated with measures of dietary quality (food group, micronutrient and macronutrient intakes) in children and adolescents.
In all, 551 children (mean age 9.6 years, 52% girls) and 569 adolescents (15.5 years, 55% girls), sampled from schools in Sweden, completed a single 24-h dietary recall. Dietary energy density (kJ/g) was calculated as the energy from all food consumed divided by the weight of all food consumed. Beverages were excluded from the calculation. Food and micronutrient intakes were adjusted for energy intake. A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test for differences in food group and nutrient intakes across age- and gender-specific tertiles of energy density. Discriminant analysis was used to confirm the groupings formed by tertiles.
Subjects with low-energy-density diets were significantly more likely to consume fruits, vegetables, pasta, rice, potatoes and cereals and less likely to consume sweetened drinks, sweets and chocolate. After energy adjustment, their intakes of many foods recommended in the Swedish food-based dietary guidelines were higher and intakes of nutrient-poor foods were lower. The macronutrient energy profile (% energy) of low-energy-density diets was closest to the recommended level. Low-energy-density diets contained greater amounts of most micronutrients. Discriminant analysis confirmed the existence of heterogeneous dietary patterns and the likelihood of correct classification by energy density in 65% of cases.
Lower dietary energy density is associated with better dietary quality in children and adolescents. Energy density has advantages over other whole diet analysis methods and may be suitable as a simple proxy of diet quality.
European journal of clinical nutrition 04/2010; 64(4):356-63. · 3.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To provide an overview of methods used to assess food and nutrient intake, nutritional knowledge and diet-related attitudes in the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence Cross-Sectional Study (HELENA-CSS), with selected results from the feasibility study.
To assess food intake in 13- to 16-year-old adolescents, a previously developed computer-assisted and self-administered 24-h recall was adapted for international use. Food consumption data were linked to national food composition databases to calculate energy and nutrient intakes. To assess nutritional knowledge in pupils not having any special (trained) education concerning 'nutrition', a 23-item validated multiple choice questionnaire was adapted. To assess eating attitudes, behaviour and/or putative problems with body weight in adolescents, a validated inventory covering 60 questions or statements was adapted for the study. In a feasibility study, instruments, data collection and processing were tested in one school class in each of the 10 participating European cities.
The feasibility study provided plausible results, quite consistent between countries. Against this background and for the first time, standardized and uniform methodology was made available for the main study to assess and characterize dietary intake, nutritional knowledge and eating attitudes.
International journal of obesity (2005) 12/2008; 32 Suppl 5:S35-41. · 5.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To describe the development of a European computerized 24-h dietary recall method for adolescents, and to investigate the feasibility of self-administration (self report) by comparison with administration by a dietician (interview).
Two hundred and thirty-six adolescents (mean age 14.6 years (s.d.=1.7)) of eight European cities completed the 24-h recall (Young Adolescents Nutrition Assessment on Computer (YANA-C)) twice (once by self-report and once by interview).
A small but significant underestimate in energy (61 (s.e.=31) kcal) and fat (4.2 (s.e.=1.7) g) intake was found in the self-reports in comparison with the interviews; no significant differences were found for the intake of carbohydrates, proteins, fibre, calcium, iron and ascorbic acid. Spearman's correlations were highly significant for all nutrients and energy ranging between 0.86 and 0.91. Agreement in categorizing the respondents as consumers and non-consumers for the 29 food groups was high (kappa statistics >or=0.73). Percentage omissions were on average 3.7%; percentage intrusions: 2.0%. Spearman's correlations between both modes were high for all food groups, for the total sample (>or=0.76) as well as for the consumers only (>or=0.72). Analysing the consumer only, on an average 54% of the consumed amounts were exactly the same; nevertheless, only for one group 'rice and pasta' a significant difference in consumption was found.
Adaptation, translation and standardization of YANA-C make it possible to assess the dietary intake of adolescents in a broad international context. In general, good agreement between the administration modes was found, the latter offering significant potential for large-scale surveys where the amount of resources to gather data is limited.
International journal of obesity (2005) 11/2008; 32 Suppl 5:S26-34. · 5.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess country differences in prevalence of overweight, obesity, underweight and stunting in the Pro Children Survey.
A cross-sectional study conducted in a random sample of schools in nine European countries in 2003. The subjects were 8317 11-year-old children from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. Parents reported height and weight of the children, and BMI values were analysed using the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the International Obesity Task Force reference populations. Continuous variables were compared with one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with Games-Howell post hoc tests. Categorical variables were analysed using chi-square tests.
The prevalence of overweight + obesity varied between the countries from 8.6% to 30.6% and 5.9% to 26.5%, respectively, depending on the reference population, with the lowest prevalence in Dutch girls, the highest in Portuguese boys. Obesity prevalence varied from 1.1% (Dutch and Danish girls) to 10.7% (Portuguese boys) and from 0.3% (Dutch girls) to 6.2% (Portuguese boys), respectively. Portugal and Spain had the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity for both genders. The ranking of the countries according to overweight and obesity prevalence was roughly the same, independent of reference population. The prevalence of underweight varied from 2.3% (Swedish boys) to 12.3% (Belgian boys), using the American reference population. The proportion of stunted children was highest in Portugal, Spain and Belgium.
The highest levels of overweight, obesity and stunting in the pro children material are found in Portugal and Spain.
The European Journal of Public Health 05/2008; 18(2):126-30. · 2.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the differences in macronutrient and food group contribution to total food and energy intakes between Estonian and Swedish under-, normal- and overweight schoolchildren, and to estimate the association between diet and body mass index (BMI).
Cross-sectional comparison between Estonian and Swedish children and adolescents of different BMI groups.
Twenty-five schools from one region in Estonia and 42 in two regions of central Sweden.
In total 2308 participants (1176 from Estonia and 1132 from Sweden), including 1141 children with a mean age of 9.6 +/- 0.5 years and 1167 adolescents with a mean age of 15.5 +/- 0.6 years.
Overweight was more prevalent among younger girls in Sweden (17.0 vs. 8.9%) and underweight among girls of both age groups in Estonia (7.9 vs. 3.5% in younger and 10.5 vs. 5.1% in older age group of girls). Compared with that of normal- and underweight peers, the diet of overweight Estonian children contained more energy as fat (36.8 vs. 31.7%) but less as carbohydrates, and they consumed more milk and meat products. Absolute BMI of Estonian participants was associated positively with energy consumption from eggs and negatively with energy consumption from sweets and sugar. Swedish overweight adolescents tended to consume more energy from protein and milk products. Risk of being overweight was positively associated with total energy intake and energy from fish or meat products. In both countries the association of overweight and biological factors (pubertal maturation, parental BMI) was stronger than with diet.
The finding that differences in dietary intake between under-, normal- and overweight schoolchildren are country-specific suggests that local dietary habits should be considered in intervention projects addressing overweight.
Public Health Nutrition 04/2007; 10(3):311-22. · 2.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The European Youth Heart Study (EYHS) addresses cardiovascular disease risk factors and their determinants in European children and adolescents. The Swedish part of the study began with cross-sectional data collection in 9- and 15-year-old schoolchildren in 1998–1999 (EYHS-I). Repeated observations of the key indicators were performed in 2004–2005 (EYHS-II). The purpose of this study was to assess potential dropout effects in EYHS-II. Participants in both EYHS-I and EYHS-II (n=459) were compared with dropouts who participated only in the EYHS-I (n=678) in relation to baseline physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness and socioeconomic and anthropometric characteristics. Bivariate comparisons were performed using chi-square tests and gamma tests for nominal and ordinal data, respectively. Continuous data were compared by t tests and Mann−Whitney tests depending on the distribution. The Bonferroni correction was used to control for multiple hypothesis testing. Multiple logistic regression with backward elimination of variables was applied to study independent effects of variables on the probability of becoming a dropout. Analyses were performed separately for the younger and older age groups. The dropout proportion in EYHS-II was 60%. Subjects from the older age group were less likely to participate in the follow-up study (32% vs. 50%, p<0.001). In bivariate analyses, only maternal education was associated with dropout rates in the younger age group after Bonferroni correction. Males were more likely to drop out in both younger [odds ratio (OR)=1.72; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.10, 2.96] and older (OR=1.96; 95% CI: 1.09, 3.54) age groups while basic maternal education was associated with outcome only in the younger group (OR=4.31; 95% CI: 1.78, 2.95) in regression analysis. The Swedish EYHS-II had high dropout rate after EYHS-I, but the dropouts did not differ from the participants in relation to physical activity, physical fitness, and anthropometric indices. Males were more likely to drop out than were females in both age groups. Differential dropout in relation to maternal education was observed in the younger age group.
Journal of Public Health 01/2006; 14(5):261-268. · 2.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Public Health Nutrition (PHN) focuses on the promotion of good health through healthy food habits, a physically active lifestyle and the prevention of related illness in the population. Monitoring PHN in Europe has been a project within the European Health Monitoring System (HMS), currently under development by the EU Commission within the Health Information Strand of the Public Health Programme 2003–2008. The project aims were to: (1) develop a theoretical framework for the selection and prioritization of indicators; (2) identify indicators relevant to the monitoring; (3) examine the nutritional aspects and proposals from other monitoring projects; (4) consider other novel proposals; (5) integrate these into a recommended list of indicators; (6) integrate the surveillance system into training and educational systems, in particular the Program for the European Masters in PHN. Seven main categories for investigation were identified: health promotion; food and nutrient intake, including breastfeeding and alcohol; nutritional status, physical activity habits and fitness; sociodemographic factors; inequality. Three working parties provided useful comments on the prioritizing of the many indicators. These comments were then fed to the coordinators in the Executive Committee, who further developed a prioritization scheme and produced the list of recommended indicators. The Report Committee took responsibility for preparing the report. Meanwhile experience was presented and discussed at several international meetings. The information was finally transferred to the coordinator project, the ECHI (European Core Health Indicator) project, for inclusion of relevant indicators in the ECHI lists. Information was also disseminated through publications and newsletters, and through training at the Masters and PhD levels across Europe. In most cases, operational measures could be defined in detail from their generic indicators. Standardized methods for data collection were also given. In future, we recommend that all European countries, and/or the HMS, should add questions to their surveys, according to the list of recommended indicators, to ensure that all the relevant areas of PHN are covered.
Journal of Public Health 02/2005; 13(2):74-83. · 2.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To describe and compare fruit and vegetable intakes of mothers of 11-year-old children across Europe.
Cross-sectional surveys were carried out in 9 European countries in October/November 2003. Self-administered questionnaires assessing fruit and vegetable consumption were used for data collection. The current paper presents dietary intake data obtained by a precoded 24-hour recall and a food frequency questionnaire.
The consumption levels of fruit and vegetables (without fruit juice) were in line with World Health Organization recommendations of > or =400 g/day for only 27% of all participating mothers. Based on both instruments, the Pro Children results showed comparatively high average fruit intake levels in Portugal, Denmark and Sweden (211, 203 and 194 g/day) and the lowest intake in Iceland (97 g/day). High vegetable intake levels were found in Portugal and Belgium (169 and 150 g/day), the lowest in Spain (88 g/day). A south-north gradient could not be observed in the Pro Children study.
Fruit and vegetable intakes are low in mothers of 11-year-olds across Europe. Especially vegetable consumption can be regarded as marginal in most of the studied European countries. A high percentage of mothers indicated to eat fruit and vegetables less than once a day. The results have shown that national and international interventions are necessary to promote fruit and especially vegetable consumption in the European population of mothers.
Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism 01/2005; 49(4):246-54. · 1.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An adequate fruit and vegetable intake provides essential nutrients and nutritive compounds and is considered an important part of a healthy lifestyle. No simple instrument has been available for the assessment of fruit and vegetable intake as well as its determinants in school-aged children applicable in different European countries. Within the Pro Children Project, such an instrument has been developed. This paper describes the cross-sectional survey in 11-year-olds in 9 countries.
The cross-sectional survey used nationally, and in 2 countries regionally, representative samples of schools and classes. The questionnaires, including a precoded 24-hour recall component and a food frequency part, were completed in the classroom. Data were treated using common syntax files for portion sizes and for merging of vegetable types into four subgroups.
The results show that the fruit and vegetable intake in amounts and choice were highly diverse in the 9 participating countries. Vegetable intake was in general lower than fruit intake, boys consumed less fruit and vegetables than girls did. The highest total intake according to the 24-hour recall was found in Austria and Portugal, the lowest in Spain and Iceland.
The fruit and vegetable intake in 11-year-old children was in all countries far from reaching population goals and food-based dietary guidelines on national and international levels.
Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism 01/2005; 49(4):236-45. · 1.66 Impact Factor