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Increased physical activity combined with more eating occasions is beneficial against dyslipidemias in children. The Healthy Growth Study

Abstract

Purpose

To identify lifestyle patterns associated with blood lipid levels in children.

Methods

A representative sample of 2,043 schoolchildren (9–13 years) participated in a cross-sectional epidemiologic study conducted in 77 primary schools in four large regions in Greece. Dietary intakes, breakfast patterns and eating frequency, physical activity levels, sleep duration, anthropometric and physical examination data, biochemical indices and socioeconomic information (collected from parents) were assessed in all children. Principal component analysis was used to identify the lifestyle patterns.

Results

A lifestyle pattern of more screen time, shorter sleep duration and higher sugar-sweetened beverage consumption was inversely associated with HDL cholesterol (β = −0.077; P < 0.001) and positively associated with total/HDL cholesterol ratio (β = 0.049; P = 0.025). Furthermore, a lifestyle pattern of more eating occasions and higher moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) levels was inversely associated with total cholesterol (β = −0.064; P = 0.006), LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol (β = −0.065; P = 0.004) and total/HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol ratio (β = −0.043; P = 0.049) in multivariate models. Finally, children with MVPA levels and eating frequency higher than that corresponding to the second quartile of this lifestyle pattern (i.e., > 44.8 min of MVPA per day and > 4.7 meals per day) were 29.7, 32.6 and 43.1 % less likely of having abnormal levels of total cholesterol, LDL and total/HDL cholesterol ratio, respectively, according to the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) cutoff points.

Conclusions

A lifestyle pattern of more than approximately 45 min of MVPA and 5 eating occasions per day was significantly associated with reduced likelihood of dyslipidemias in schoolchildren (9–13 years).

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Acknowledgments

This research has been co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund—ESF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program “Education and Lifelong Learning” of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF)—Research Funding Program: Heracleitus II—investing in knowledge society through the European Social Fund. The authors would also like to thank the “Healthy Growth Study” group for the valuable contribution to the completion of the study.

Conflict of interest

None of the authors has any conflict of interest to declare.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yannis Manios.

Additional information

This study is on behalf of the “Healthy Growth Study” group.

The details of the “Healthy Growth Study” are given in the “Appendix.”

Appendix

Appendix

Healthy Growth Study Group

1. Harokopio University Research Team/Department of Nutrition and Dietetics: Yannis Manios (Coordinator), George Moschonis (Project manager), Katerina P. Skenderi, Evangelia Grammatikaki, Odysseas Androutsos, Sofia Tanagra, Alexandra Koumpitski, Paraskevi-Eirini Siatitsa, Anastasia Vandorou, Aikaterini-Efstathia Kyriakou, Vasiliki Dede, Maria Kantilafti, Aliki-Eleni Farmaki, Aikaterini Siopi, Sofia Micheli, Louiza Damianidi, Panagiota Margiola, Despoina Gakni, Vasiliki Iatridi, Christina Mavrogianni, Kelaidi Michailidou, Aggeliki Giannopoulou, Efstathoula Argyri, Konstantina Maragkopoulou, Maria Spyridonos, Eirini Tsikalaki, Panagiotis Kliasios, Anthi Naoumi, Konstantinos Koutsikas, Katerina Kondaki, Epistimi Aggelou, Zoi Krommyda, Charitini Aga, Manolis Birbilis, Ioanna Kosteria, Amalia Zlatintsi, Elpida Voutsadaki, Eleni-Zouboulia Papadopoulou, Zoi Papazi, Maria Papadogiorgakaki, Fanouria Chlouveraki, Maria Lyberi, Nora Karatsikaki-Vlami, Eva Dionysopoulou, Efstratia Daskalou.

2. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki/School of Physical Education and Sports Science: Vassilis Mougios, Anatoli Petridou, Konstantinos Papaioannou, Georgios Tsalis, Ananis Karagkiozidis, Konstantinos Bougioukas, Afroditi Sakellaropoulou, Georgia Skouli.

3. University of Athens/ Medical School: George P. Chrousos, Maria Drakopoulou, Evangelia Charmandari, Neni Pervanidou.

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Moschonis, G., Mavrogianni, C., Karatzi, K. et al. Increased physical activity combined with more eating occasions is beneficial against dyslipidemias in children. The Healthy Growth Study. Eur J Nutr 52, 1135–1144 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-012-0424-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-012-0424-3

Keywords

  • Children
  • Serum lipids
  • Lifestyle patterns
  • Diet