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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 479439, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Objectively Measured Physical Activity and Body Mass Index in Preschool Children

1Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, Faculty of Sport, Porto University, 4200-450 Porto, Portugal
2Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Karolinska Institute, 14183 Stockholm, Sweden

Received 28 January 2010; Revised 3 June 2010; Accepted 16 June 2010

Academic Editor: Lars B. Andersen

Copyright © 2010 Susana Maria Coelho Guimarães Vale et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim. To examine the association between objectively measured physical activity (PA) and body mass index (BMI) in preschool children. Methods. The study comprised 281 children (55.9% boys) aged from 4 to 6 years. PA was measured by accelerometer. Children were categorized as non-overweight (NOW) and overweight/obese (OW) according to the sex-adjusted BMI z-score ( 1 and 1, resp.). Results. Total and moderate intensity PA were not associated with BMI. We observed that a higher proportion of OW children were classified as low-vigorous PA compared to their NOW peers (43.9 versus 32.1%, resp., ). Logistic regression analysis showed that children with low-vigorous PA had higher odds ratio (OR) to be classified as OW compared to those with high-vigorous PA ( ; 95% CI: 1.4–13.4; ) after adjusting for BMI at first and second years of life and other potential confounders. Conclusion. The data suggests that vigorous PA may play a key role in the obesity development already at pre-school age.