Clustering of dietary intake and sedentary behavior in 2-year-old children.

J.S. Gubbels*, S.P. Kremers, A. Stafleu, P.C. Dagnelie, S.I. de Vries, N.K. de Vries, C. Thijs

*Corresponding author for this work

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OBJECTIVE: To examine clustering of energy balance-related behaviors (EBRBs) in young children. This is crucial because lifestyle habits are formed at an early age and track in later life. This study is the first to examine EBRB clustering in children as young as 2 years. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional data originated from the Child, Parent and Health: Lifestyle and Genetic Constitution (KOALA) Birth Cohort Study. Parents of 2578 2-year-old children completed a questionnaire. Correlation analyses, principal component analyses, and linear regression analyses were performed to examine clustering of EBRBs. RESULTS: We found modest but consistent correlations in EBRBs. Two clusters emerged: a "sedentary-snacking cluster" and a "fiber cluster." Television viewing clustered with computer use and unhealthy dietary behaviors. Children who frequently consumed vegetables also consumed fruit and brown bread more often and white bread less often. Lower maternal education and maternal obesity were associated with high scores on the sedentary-snacking cluster, whereas higher educational level was associated with high fiber cluster scores. CONCLUSIONS: Obesity-prone behavioral clusters are already visible in 2-year-old children and are related to maternal characteristics. The findings suggest that obesity prevention should apply an integrated approach to physical activity and dietary intake in early childhood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-198
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


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