To examine how clusters of energy balance-related behaviours (EBRBs), including sleep related factors, were associated with overweight among adolescents.
In Finland, 4262 adolescents, aged 13-15, participated in the cross-national Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study. The adolescents completed questionnaires assessing EBRBs [sleep duration, discrepancy and quality, physical activity (PA), screen time, junk food, fruit, and vegetable intake] and height and weight. Clusters were identified with ?-means cluster analysis and their associations with overweight with logistic regression analyses.
Common clusters for boys and girls were labelled "Healthy lifestyle" and "High screen time, unhealthy lifestyle". In addition, the cluster "Low/moderate screen time, unhealthy lifestyle" was identified among boys, and the cluster "Poor sleep, unhealthy lifestyle" among girls. Only girls in the cluster "High screen time, unhealthy lifestyle" were at increased risk for overweight.
Girls, whose EBRB was characterized by high screen time and low PA, but not with poor sleep, were at increased risk for overweight. Future studies should examine ways to promote PA among adolescent girls with high interest in screen-based activities.
This study investigated whether computer use is associated with health symptoms through sleep duration among 15-year olds in Finland, France and Denmark.
We used data from the WHO cross-national Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study collected in Finland, France and Denmark in 2010, including data on 5,402 adolescents (mean age 15.61 (SD 0.37), girls 53%). Symptoms assessed included feeling low, irritability/bad temper, nervousness, headache, stomachache, backache, and feeling dizzy. We used structural equation modeling to explore the mediating effect of sleep duration on the association between computer use and symptom load.
Adolescents slept approximately 8 h a night and computer use was approximately 2 h a day. Computer use was associated with shorter sleep duration and higher symptom load. Sleep duration partly mediated the association between computer use and symptom load, but the indirect effects of sleep duration were quite modest in all countries.
Sleep duration may be a potential underlying mechanism behind the association between computer use and health symptoms.
To study the associations between home food availability and dietary patterns among pre-school children.
Cross-sectional study in which parents of the participating children filled in an FFQ and reported how often they had certain foods in their homes. We derived dietary pattern scores using principal component analysis, and composite scores describing the availability of fruits and vegetables as well as sugar-enriched foods in the home were created for each participant. We used multilevel models to investigate the associations between availability and dietary pattern scores.
The DAGIS study, Finland.
The participants were 864 Finnish 3-6-year-old children recruited from sixty-six pre-schools. The analyses included 711 children with sufficient data.
We identified three dietary patterns explaining 16·7 % of the variance. The patterns were named 'sweets-and-treats' (high loadings of e.g. sweet biscuits, chocolate, ice cream), 'health-conscious' (high loadings of e.g. nuts, natural yoghurt, berries) and 'vegetables-and-processed meats' (high loadings of e.g. vegetables, cold cuts, fruit). In multivariate models, the availability of fruits and vegetables was inversely associated with the sweets-and-treats pattern (ß=-0·05, P
Electronic media use is becoming an increasingly important part of life for today's school-aged children. At the same time, concern of children's sleep habits has arisen, and cross-sectional studies have shown that electronic media use is associated with short sleep duration and sleep disturbances. The purpose of this longitudinal study was to investigate whether baseline electronic media use and media presence in a child's bedroom predicted sleep habits as well as changes in these sleep habits 18 months later among 10- to 11-year-old children in Finland.
The school-aged children (n=353, 51% girls) from 27 schools answered a questionnaire in 2006 and again 2008 in the Helsinki region of Finland. Electronic media use was measured by computer use and TV viewing. Media presence in a child's bedroom means the presence of a TV or a computer in a child's bedroom. Sleep habits were measured by bedtimes on school days and at the weekend days, sleep duration, discrepancy of bedtimes, and discrepancy of sleep duration between school days and weekends. Linear regression analyses were used to examine whether electronic media use and media presence predicted sleep habits with adjustments for grade, family structure, and baseline sleep. Gender differences were also examined.
The children used a computer for one hour per day and watched TV over one hour a day in 2006. They slept over nine hours on school days and over ten hours at the weekends in 2008. Computer use and television viewing predicted significantly shorter sleep duration (p
We examined whether there are sex differences in children's fruit and vegetable (FV) intake and in descriptive norms (i.e. perceived FV intake) related to parents and friends. We also studied whether friends' impact is as important as that of parents on children's FV intake. Data from the PRO GREENS project in Finland were obtained from 424 children at the age 11 years at baseline. At baseline, 2009 children filled in a questionnaire about descriptive norms conceptualised as perceived FV intake of their parents and friends. They also filled in a validated FFQ that assessed their FV intake both at baseline and in the follow-up in 2010. The associations were examined with multi-level regression analyses with multi-group comparisons. Girls reported higher perceived FV intake of friends and higher own fruit intake at baseline, compared with boys, and higher vegetable intake both at baseline and in the follow-up. Perceived FV intake of parents and friends was positively associated with both girls' and boys' FV intake in both study years. The impact of perceived fruit intake of the mother was stronger among boys. The change in children's FV intake was affected only by perceived FV intake of father and friends. No large sex differences in descriptive norms were found, but the impact of friends on children's FV intake can generally be considered as important as that of parents. Future interventions could benefit from taking into account friends' impact as role models on children's FV intake.
Effective interventions that target socioeconomic status (SES) differences to avoid the potential widening of inequalities in health are needed. Children at preschool age is a valuable intervention target since sedentary behaviors, physical activity (PA), dietary behaviors, and sleep habits, jointly called the energy balance-related behaviors (EBRBs), are established in early childhood and tend to persist later in life. The interventions are most effective, when they focus on evidence-based factors. One potential factor associated with EBRBs and SES is children's stress regulation, which receives special attention in this study. Based on the socioecological approach, the combinations of multiple levels (e.g. individual, environmental, societal) of analysis and diverse methodologies (e.g. surveys, observations, biological measurements) are used to assess the healthfulness of environments (e.g. social, physical, learning, policy) in preschool and family settings. The intervention aimed to diminish SES differences in EBRBs is then conducted in the preschool setting.
The DAGIS study is divided into two phases. The first phase comprises focus group interviews and a cross-sectional survey. Parents and preschool personnel in low SES neighborhoods participated in interviews about children's sedentary behaviors, dietary behaviors, and PA in 2014. In the cross-sectional survey beginning in autumn 2015, preschools will be recruited from a random sample of preschools in 3-5 municipalities in Southern Finland. A total of 800 children will wear an accelerometer for seven days. Children's hair and saliva samples will be taken. Parents and preschool personnel will complete questionnaires on EBRBs, social and physical environments and SES factors. The quality of preschool environment is also observed. In the second phase, an intervention targeting to narrowing SES differences in EBRBs is conducted. The effects of the intervention will be evaluated in randomised controlled trial. The implementation of the intervention will also be evaluated.
If effective, this unique preschool-based study will be able to narrow the SES differences in preschool children's EBRBs. This study is anticipated to identify the most important modifiable factors in preschool and family environmental settings associated with children's EBRBs, especially in children from low SES backgrounds.
ISRCTN57165350 (January, 8th, 2015).
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This paper describes the Increased Health and Wellbeing in Preschools (DAGIS) survey process and socioeconomic status (SES) differences in children's energy balance-related behaviors (EBRBs), meaning physical activity, sedentary and dietary behaviors, and long-term stress that serve as the basis for the intervention development. A cross-sectional survey was conducted during 2015?2016 in 66 Finnish preschools in eight municipalities involving 864 children (3?6 years old). Parents, preschool personnel, and principals assessed environmental factors at home and preschool with questionnaires. Measurement of children's EBRBs involved three-day food records, food frequency questionnaires (FFQ), seven-day accelerometer data, and seven-day sedentary behavior diaries. Children's long-term stress was measured by hair cortisol concentration. Parental educational level (PEL) served as an indicator of SES. Children with low PEL had more screen time, more frequent consumption of sugary beverages and lower consumption of vegetables, fruit, and berries (VFB) than those with high PEL. Children with middle PEL had a higher risk of consuming sugary everyday foods than children with high PEL. No PEL differences were found in children's physical activity, sedentary time, or long-term stress. The DAGIS intervention, aiming to diminish SES differences in preschool children's EBRBs, needs to have a special focus on screen time and consumption of sugary foods and beverages, and VFB.
A large proportion of young children spend most of their weekdays at preschool in Western countries. In Finland, three meals are included in a full day at preschool. These meals have the potential to promote healthy eating. This study aimed to obtain the personnel's (preschool teachers, day-care nurses) views on the factors influencing children's fruit, vegetable, and sugar-enriched food intake at preschool.
Four focus groups, in all 14 preschool personnel. Two researchers independently analysed the data using a socio-ecological framework.
At the child level, age, peers, and the child's personality were recognized as factors influencing the fruit and vegetable (FV) and sugar-enriched food intake. At the preschool level, both the physical and social environments were discussed thoroughly, whereas at the societal level, policies of the EU, the state, and the municipality were mentioned as factors that influence what children eat in preschool. The personnel also discussed the interactions between factors both between levels and within levels.
In Finnish preschools, children's food intake is influenced on and within several levels of the socio-ecological model. The identification of the factors influencing food intake allows different methods of intervention at multiple levels to promote healthy eating behaviours in preschools.
Studies investigating dietary resemblance between parents and their children have gained mixed results, and the resemblance seems to vary across nutrients, foods, dietary-assessment tools used, and parent-child pairs. We investigated parent-child dietary resemblance using a novel approach in applying statistical analysis, which allowed the comparison of 'whole-diet' between parents and their children. Additionally, we sought to establish whether sociodemographic factors or family meals were associated with dietary resemblance and whether parent-child dietary resemblance was dependent on the parent providing food consumption data on behalf of the child (father or mother, "the respondent").
The DAGIS study investigated health behaviors among Finnish preschoolers using a cross-sectional design. One parent filled in a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) measuring the child's food consumption outside preschool hours during the last week. In addition, we instructed both parents or legal guardians, should the child have two, to fill in a similar FFQ regarding their own food use. Parents also reported their educational level, the number of children living in the same household, and the number of family meals. As a measure of dietary resemblance between a parent and a child, we computed Spearman correlations ranging mostly from no resemblance (0) to complete resemblance (+?1) between parent-child pairs over the 'whole-diet' (excluding preschool hours). These resemblance measures were further investigated using linear mixed models.
We obtained 665 father-child and 798 mother-child resemblance measures. Mother-child resemblance was on average 0.57 and stronger than father-child resemblance (0.50, p?
The objective of this study was to investigate cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between different family characteristics and body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) in children.
This was a prospective follow-up study conducted in Helsinki region with data collected in 2006 and 2008. The sample consisted of 550 children aged 9-11 at baseline. Children were measured and weighed by research staff, and they completed a questionnaire about their family characteristics.
More meals together with the family, more parenting practices at meals, less time home without adult company after school, and child's perception of receiving care from mother in 2006 predicted a lower BMI in 2008 and partly a smaller increase in BMI from 2006 to 2008. Fewer associations were found to WHtR. Physical activity with either parent was not associated with BMI or WHtR.
Several family characteristics predicted child BMI and WHtR 2 years later. These results contribute new knowledge about parental influence on child weight and weight gain and should be taken into account when planning interventions on the matter.