International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 60, Issue 5, pp 551–559 | Cite as

Patterns of movement behaviors and their association with overweight and obesity in youth

  • Valerie CarsonEmail author
  • Guy Faulkner
  • Catherine M. Sabiston
  • Mark S. Tremblay
  • Scott T. Leatherdale
Original Article



To identify underlying subgroups based on patterns of physical activity, screen-based sedentary behavior, and sleep in a large sample of Canadian youth and to examine the associations between the identified subgroups and overweight and obesity.


The study is based on 19,831 youth aged 13–18 years from across Ontario, Canada in the COMPASS study. Participants self-reported their movement behaviors (i.e., physical activity, sedentary behavior and sleep), height and weight, and demographics. Latent class analysis and logistic regression models were conducted.


Three underlying subgroups were identified in the total sample and male and female subsamples (i.e., unhealthiest movers, active screenies, healthiest movers). In the total sample, the active screenies subgroup was 1.19 (95 % CI 1.09–1.29) times and the unhealthiest movers subgroup was 1.24 (1.14–1.36) times more likely to be classified as overweight/obese compared to the healthiest movers subgroup. Similar associations were observed in the female subsample but not in the male subsample.


Public health interventions targeting youth subgroups at increased risk of overweight and obesity through integrated approaches accounting for multiple movement behaviors should be considered, especially for females.


Adolescent Obesity Physical activity Television Computers Sleep 



The authors would like to thank Chad Bredin (COMPASS study project manager), Dr. Dana Church (COMPASS study recruitment coordinator), and Audra Thompson-Haile (COMPASS school coordinator) for their assistance with this project. The COMPASS study was supported by a bridge grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes (INMD) through the “Obesity—Interventions to Prevent or Treat” priority funding awards (OOP-110788; Grant awarded to ST. Leatherdale) and an operating grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Population and Public Health (IPPH) (MOP-114875; Grant awarded to ST. Leatherdale).


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valerie Carson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Guy Faulkner
    • 3
  • Catherine M. Sabiston
    • 3
  • Mark S. Tremblay
    • 2
    • 4
  • Scott T. Leatherdale
    • 5
  1. 1.Faculty of Physical Education and RecreationUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research GroupChildren’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research InstituteOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical EducationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  5. 5.School of Public Health and Health SystemsUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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