Silvia Costa

Silvia Costa
Loughborough University | Lough · School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

PhD
Lecturer in Physical activity and Public Health

About

82
Publications
6,396
Reads
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619
Citations
Citations since 2016
49 Research Items
595 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080100
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100
Introduction
Lecturer in Physical Activity and Public Health, interested in the role of physical activity and diet for healthy growth and development in early childhood, childhood physical inactivity as a key pathway for developing chronic disease, policy and practice to improve physical activity and diet in early childhood, and methodologies for the objective assessment of physical activity/sedentary behaviour in young children. Twitter: @SilviaCosta33
Additional affiliations
August 2018 - present
Loughborough University
Position
  • Lecturer
October 2015 - July 2018
University of Cambridge
Position
  • Fellow
August 2014 - December 2014
University of Wollongong
Position
  • Endeavour Research Fellow

Publications

Publications (82)
Article
BACKGROUND: The rising prevalence of obesity, particularly in childhood, is a global public health emergency. There is some evidence that exposure to non-parental childcare before age 6 years is associated with subsequent development of obesity and obesity-related behaviours such as physical activity, sedentary behaviour, sleep, diet and stress, al...
Article
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the childcare environment and physical activity and sedentary behavior of toddlers and preschoolers. A total of 68 toddlers (1.0–2.9 years) and 233 preschoolers (3.0–5.9 years) were recruited from 11 childcare services in 2013 within the Illawarra and Shoalhaven region of NSW, A...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Active commuting may help to increase adults' physical activity levels. However, estimates of its energy cost are derived from a small number of studies which are laboratory-based or use self-reported measures. Methods: Adults working in Cambridge (UK) recruited through a predominantly workplace-based strategy wore combined heart rat...
Article
Objective To calibrate and validate the ActiGraph GT3X+ to measure sedentary behaviour (SB) and physical activity (PA) in 2-3 year olds, using 5-second epochs; and to compare the predictive validity of the resulting cut-points with that of NHANES’, Trost's, and Pate's 15-second cut-points. Design Cross-sectional study. Method Eighteen children (2...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The reported lower physical activity (PA) levels of British South Asians (SA) are suggested as a key influence in their increased risk of non-communicable diseases compared to their White British peers. Differences in objectively measured PA and sedentary behaviour (SB) between these ethnic groups have been observed during childhood (a...
Article
Full-text available
Objective We aimed to 1) describe how the UK obesity epidemic reflects a change over time in the proportion of the population demonstrating adverse latent patterns of BMI development and 2) investigate the potential roles of maternal and paternal BMI in this secular process. Methods We used serial BMI data between 7 and 17 years of age from 13220...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The school environment is an ideal setting for promoting physical activity (PA). Wearable activity trackers (wearables) have previously been implemented, in research, as intervention tools within the school-environment. However, the large-scale use and acceptance of wearables, in schools, is unknown. Methods: This study distributed a...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Wearable activity trackers (wearables) are increasingly popular intervention tools for increasing child and adolescent physical activity (PA) levels. However, the large-scale habitual use of wearables in children and adolescents is unknown. This study investigated the prevalence of wearable use in children and adolescents, and what factors impa...
Article
Full-text available
Background Walking is a main form of Physical Activity (PA) and daily step counts have been used as a tool to objectively assess PA levels and patterns in many studies. Children who accumulate less than 9000 steps per day may be considered insufficiently active (Vale et al., 2015). The aim of the present study was to determine the importance of ana...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The family environment plays a crucial role in child physical activity (PA). Wearable activity trackers (wearables) show potential for increasing children's PA; however, few studies have explored families' acceptance of wearables. This study investigated the acceptability of using wearables in a family setting, aligning experiences wit...
Article
Background Early life adversity is increasingly prevalent and associated with greater morbidity and mortality. It is hypothesised that the link between psychosocial early life adversity and poor health in adulthood is due to abnormal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning (often measured as cortisol patterning) and inflammation (ofte...
Article
Full-text available
Wearable activity trackers (wearables) embed numerous behaviour change techniques (BCTs) that have previously been shown to increase adult physical activity (PA). With few children and adolescents achieving PA guidelines, it is crucial to explore ways to increase their PA. This systematic review examined the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiv...
Article
Full-text available
Background and Aims We investigated the associations of 20-year body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) histories with risk of being 1) metabolically unhealthy overweight/obese (MUOO) vs metabolically healthy overweight/obese (MHOO) and 2) metabolically unhealthy normal weight (MUNW) vs metabolically healthy normal weight (MHNW). Method...
Article
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Rapid infant weight gain is a key risk factor for paediatric obesity, yet there is very little evidence on how healthy behaviours in childhood might modify this association. We aimed to examine how the association of infant weight gain with adolescent adiposity might be attenuated by moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in childhood. The s...
Article
Full-text available
Background Attending childcare is related to greater childhood obesity risk, but there are few long‐term follow‐up studies. We aimed to examine the associations of childcare type, age at start, and intensity with body mass index body mass index (BMI) trajectories from ages 10 to 42 years. Methods The sample comprised 8234 individuals in the 1970 B...
Article
Background Five linked studies were undertaken to inform identified evidence gaps in the childhood obesity pathway. Objectives (1) To scope the impact of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) (study A). (2) To develop a brief evidence-based electronic assessment and management tool (study B). (3) To develop evidence-based algorithms for...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Evidence suggests that South Asian school-aged children and adults are less active compared to the white British population. It is unknown if this generalises to young children. We aimed to describe variability in levels of physical activity and sedentary time in a bi-ethnic sample of young children from a deprived location. Methods:...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Evidence suggests that South Asian school-aged children and adults are less active compared to the white British population. It is unknown if this generalises to young children. We aimed to describe variability in levels of physical activity and sedentary time in a bi-ethnic sample of young children from a deprived location. Methods: Th...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Evidence suggests that South Asian school-aged children and adults are less active compared to the white British population. It is unknown if this generalises to young children. We aimed to describe variability in levels of physical activity and sedentary time in a bi-ethnic sample of young children from a deprived location. Methods: Th...
Preprint
Background: Evidence suggests that South Asian school-aged children and adults are less active compared to the white British population. It is unknown if this generalises to young children. We aimed to describe variability in levels of physical activity and sedentary time in a bi-ethnic sample of young children from a deprived location. Methods: Th...
Article
Full-text available
The rising prevalence of childhood obesity is a global public health concern. Evidence suggests that exposure to non-parental childcare before age six years is associated with development of obesity, diet, and activity behaviours (physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep). However, findings are inconsistent and mostly from cross-sectional...
Preprint
Background The rising prevalence of childhood obesity is a global public health concern. Evidence suggests that exposure to non-parental childcare before age six years is associated with increased risk of obesity, diet, and activity behaviours (physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep). However, findings are inconsistent and mostly from cr...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Attending childcare is related to greater childhood obesity risk, but there are few long-term follow-up studies. We aimed to examine the associations of childcare type, duration, and intensity with BMI trajectories from ages 10-42 years. Methods: The sample comprised 8234 individuals in the 1970 British Cohort Study, who had data on chi...
Article
Background Mixture modelling is a useful approach to identify subgroups in a population who share similar trajectories. We aimed to identify distinct body mass index (BMI) trajectories between 10 and 42 years and investigate how known early-life risk factors are related to trajectories. Methods Sample: 9187 participants in the 1970 British Birth C...
Article
Full-text available
Background: There is heterogeneity among obese individuals, as some appear to have healthier metabolic profiles and decreased health risks. These individuals are defined as metabolically healthy obese (MHO), whilst those with unhealthy metabolic profiles are defined as metabolically unhealthy obese (MUO). To date, most research on MHO has been cros...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To undertake a cost-utility analysis of a motivational multicomponent lifestyle-modification intervention in a community setting (the Healthy Eating Lifestyle Programme (HELP)) compared with enhanced standard care. Design: Cost-utility analysis alongside a randomised controlled trial. Setting: Community settings in Greater London, E...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of review: The purpose of this review was to summarize the current literature on the longitudinal relationship between non-parental childcare during infancy and later obesity. Recent findings: Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria, comprising 74 associations relevant to the review. Studies were highly heterogeneous in terms of defini...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Approximately 7% of children and young people aged 5–15 years in the UK have obesity at a level likely to be associated with comorbidities. The majority of multicomponent lifestyle programmes have limited applicability and generalisability for British adolescents. The Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Programme (HELP) was a specific adolescent...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of review: The purpose of this review was to summarize the current literature on the longitudinal relationship between non-parental childcare during infancy and later obesity. Recent findings: Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria, comprising 74 associations relevant to the review. Studies were highly heterogeneous in terms of defining...
Article
Purpose: Adequate nutrition during adolescence is important for optimal physical and cognitive development and for pregnancy either during adolescence or later life. Thinness among adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countries has been little studied. Methods: We used body mass index data from 40 countries from the Global School Health Su...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: This study aimed to investigate associations of objectively measured physical activity (PA) and sedentary time with adiposity in a predominantly biethnic (South Asian and White British) sample of young children. Methods: The sample included 333 children age 11 months to 5 yr who provided 526 cross-sectional observations for PA and body...
Article
PURPOSE: To investigate associations of objectively-measured physical activity (PA) and sedentary time (ST) with adiposity in a predominantly bi-ethnic (South Asian and White British) sample of young children. METHODS: The sample included 333 children aged 11 months to 5 years who provided 526 cross-sectional observations for PA and body compositio...
Article
CONTEXT: Being physically active during the early years (age 0-6 years) is vital for healthy development. Identifying correlates and determinants of physical activity (PA) is crucial to guide effective interventions. This systematic review synthesized studies investigating potential correlates and determinants of PA during the early years, accounti...
Article
Full-text available
Background The rising prevalence of obesity, particularly in childhood, is a global public health emergency. There is some evidence that exposure to non-parental childcare before age 6 years is associated with subsequent development of obesity and obesity-related behaviours such as physical activity, sedentary behaviour, sleep, diet and stress, alt...
Article
Context: Being physically active during the early years (age 0-6 years) is vital for healthy development. Identifying correlates and determinants of physical activity (PA) is crucial to guide effective interventions. This systematic review synthesized studies investigating potential correlates and determinants of PA during the early years, account...
Article
Objective: To examine whether previously identified childhood risk factors for bulimia or compulsive eating (BCE) predict self-reported lifetime BCE by age 30 years in a prospective birth cohort. Method: Using data from the 1970 British Cohort Study at birth, 5, and 10 years, associations between 22 putative childhood risk factors and self-repor...
Article
Full-text available
Measuring physical activity (PA) and sedentary time (ST) in young children (<5 years) is complex. Objective measures have high validity but require specialist expertise, are expensive, and can be burdensome for participants. A proxy-report instrument for young children that accurately measures PA and ST is needed. The aim of this study was to asses...
Article
Background Adequate nutrition during adolescence is important for optimal physical and cognitive development and for pregnancy either during adolescence or later life. Thinness amongst adolescent girls in low and middle income countries (LMIC) has been little studied. Methods We used BMI data from 40 LMIC from the Global School Health Survey to est...
Article
Full-text available
This study presents a worked example of a stepped process to reliably estimate the habitual physical activity and sedentary time of a sample of young children. A total of 299 children (2.9 ± 0.6 years) were recruited. Outcome variables were daily minutes of total physical activity, sedentary time, moderate to vigorous physical activity and proporti...
Conference Paper
Aim: To investigate the prevalence of under‐nutrition in adolescent (12‐17 year‐old) girls from low and middle‐income countries, and its association with national wealth, food security, income and gender inequality indices. Methods: Cross‐sectional study using data from the Global School Health Survey (GSHS). Body mass index (BMI) was calculated fr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
PURPOSE: To describe the physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour (SB) levels of obese adolescents (12-19 year-olds), and investigate the association of SB and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) with fatness and metabolic outcomes. METHODS: Baseline measurements were obtained from 102 obese (body mass index (BMI)>95th centile UK1990 reference) ad...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
PURPOSE: To assess the feasibility of recruiting and objectively measuring the habitual physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour (SB) of South Asian and White British toddlers and parents participating in the Born in Bradford (BIB) cohort study. METHODS: Families of 2-3 year olds were informed about the study during routine BIB assessments. I...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Objective: To discuss the considerations and challenges in adapting an early childhood physical activity intervention previously implemented in high-income settings for low-income settings within Australia. Methods: In 2015/16 40 low-income early childhood education and care (ECEC) services within NSW, Australia, will participate in a multi-compon...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction: Being physically active during the early years (0-6 years) is vital for the healthy development of children. Identifying factors associated with physical activity during the early years is crucial to guide effective interventions. The purpose of the systematic review was to synthesise findings from studies investigating potential corr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction: Measuring physical activity and sedentary time in young children (<5 years) is complex. Objective measures (although more reliable than proxy-reports) require specialised expertise, are expensive, and can be burdensome for participants; such issues are amplified when measuring large samples. Therefore, a physical activity and sedentar...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to (i) describe the weight status trajectories from childhood to mid-adulthood and (ii) investigate the influence of maternal and paternal body mass index (BMI) on offspring’s trajectories in a nationally representative study in Great Britain. The sample comprised 4174 (43%male) participants from the 1970 British Cohort Study with...
Article
Full-text available
We read Johansson et al.'s [1] article with great interest, as validation of accelerometers for children under 3 years of age is urgently needed. However, several methodological issues warrant serious consideration. Among the remarks listed on Table 1, three main issues deserve highlighting: Only a few inappropriate tests were used for ‘agreement’...
Article
Purpose: To assess whether a motivational multi-component lifestyle intervention delivered in the community was effective in reducing body mass index (BMI) and improving related health outcomes in obese adolescents. Methods: 174 obese adolescents (13-17 years old; 109 females) from a community setting in London (UK) were randomised into interventio...
Conference Paper
Background: Studies have reported that preschool children may not be sufficiently active according to guidelines. This is worrying because early childhood is a critical period for the establishment of sedentary behaviour (SB) and physical activity (PA) habits, which have immediate and long term influences on health. The majority of evidence on leve...
Article
Full-text available
Active commuting may make an important contribution to population health. Accurate measures of these behaviours are required, but it is unknown how self-reported estimates compare to those derived from objective measures. We sought to develop methods for objectively deriving time spent in specific travel behaviours from a combination of locational...