Physical fitness, physical activity, sedentary behavior, or diet: what are the correlates of obesity in Polish school children?
Czyz, Stanislaw H.
Toriola, Abel L.
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There is substantial evidence of rising prevalence of overweight and obesity and its co-morbidities among children in western-high income developed countries. In the European Union, the prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing fastest among Polish children. Yet, there is paucity of evidence on the relationship of behavioral factors with body weight status of children in Poland. This study examined the association of obesity with physical fitness, physical activity, sedentary behavior and diet among Polish children. A total of 641 children (10–15 years) recruited from the Lower Silesia region of Poland participated in this cross-sectional study. Participants’ anthropometrics, physical fitness, physical activity, sedentary behavior and dietary intake were assessed. Outcome variables were weight categories (according to body mass index [BMI], waist-to-hip ratio [WHR], and percentage body fat [% BF]). The strongest negative correlation was found between VO2max and %BF (r = −0.39, p <0.05). Significant negative correlation was also found between VO2max and weight categories (r = −0.15). Results of the multinomial logit analysis showed that VO2max increased in groups of overweight, normal weight and underweight children by 13%, 26% and 19%, respectively as compared to the group of obese children. VO2max and weight and obesity indices were strongly correlated in both gender and age groups. Education and intervention programs to increase physical fitness (VO2max) through aerobic training are recommended for Physical Education teachers, parents and children in order to reduce the rate of overweight and obesity among children in the Lower Silesia region of Poland