Physical activity is low in obese New Zealand children and adolescents.
Anderson YC., Wynter LE., Grant CC., Stewart JM., Cave TL., Wild CEK., Derraik JGB., Cutfield WS., Hofman PL.
We aimed to describe physical activity and sedentary behaviour of obese children and adolescents in Taranaki, New Zealand, and to determine how these differ in Māori (indigenous) versus non-indigenous children. Participants (n = 239; 45% Māori, 45% New Zealand European [NZE], 10% other ethnicities) aged 4.8-16.8 years enrolled in a community-based obesity programme from January 2012 to August 2014 who had a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 98th percentile (n = 233) or >91st-98th percentile with weight-related comorbidities (n = 6) were assessed. Baseline activity levels were assessed using the children's physical activity questionnaire (C-PAQ), a fitness test, and ≥3 days of accelerometer wear. Average BMI standard deviation score was 3.09 (SD = 0.60, range 1.52-5.34 SDS). Reported median daily activity was 80 minutes (IQR = 88). Although 44% of the cohort met the national recommended screen time of <2 hours per day, the mean screen time was longer at 165 minutes (SD = 135). Accelerometer data (n = 130) showed low physical activity time (median 34 minutes [IQR = 29]). Only 18.5% of the total cohort met national recommended physical activity guidelines of 60 minutes per day. There were minimal ethnic differences. In conclusion, obese children/adolescents in this cohort had low levels of physical activity. The vast majority are not meeting national physical activity recommendations.