Factors related to adiposity among children aged 3 to 7 years

Shay M. Robertson, Karen W. Cullen, Janice Baranowski, Tom Baranowski, Shaohua Hu, Carl De Moor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare diet and physical activity between a group of children aged 4 to 7 years who had increased their sum of 7 skinfolds by 1.5 standard deviations or more since the previous year and those who had not. Subjects/design: A longitudinal design was used wherein children had their body composition assessed at 4 annual intervals. Fifteen study subjects were identified from a larger study on the development of cardiovascular risk factors in children. Three matched control subjects were identified for all but 4 study subjects. Children were included if they were 3 or 4 years old at the time of the first of 4 annual clinics to collect data. Children were volunteers from a mid-sized city. Measures: Seven skinfold sites were assessed, each 3 times. An average was taken of the mean at each site. Diet and physical activity were assessed using observational methods for up to 4 days for each of 3 years between the 4 annual clinics (held in the summers of 1986, 1987, 1988, and 1989). Results: Children consumed significantly (P=.02) more fat grams and suggestively higher percentages of energy from fat (P=.06), total energy (P=.08), and percentage energy from protein (P=.10). No differences were detected for percent energy from carbohydrate, physical activity, or height. Conclusions: Programs to prevent childhood obesity might have success by targeting dietary fat consumption among children as young as 4 years old, but further research is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)938-943
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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