The Obesogenic Quality of the Home Environment: Associations with Diet, Physical Activity, TV Viewing, and BMI in Preschool Children
SourcePLoS One, 10, 8, (2015), article e0134490
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
SubjectRadboudumc 15: Urological cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
OBJECTIVES: The home environment is thought to play a key role in early weight trajectories, although direct evidence is limited. There is general agreement that multiple factors exert small individual effects on weight-related outcomes, so use of composite measures could demonstrate stronger effects. This study therefore examined whether composite measures reflecting the 'obesogenic' home environment are associated with diet, physical activity, TV viewing, and BMI in preschool children. METHODS: Families from the Gemini cohort (n = 1096) completed a telephone interview (Home Environment Interview; HEI) when their children were 4 years old. Diet, physical activity, and TV viewing were reported at interview. Child height and weight measurements were taken by the parents (using standard scales and height charts) and reported at interview. Responses to the HEI were standardized and summed to create four composite scores representing the food (sum of 21 variables), activity (sum of 6 variables), media (sum of 5 variables), and overall (food composite/21 + activity composite/6 + media composite/5) home environments. These were categorized into 'obesogenic risk' tertiles. RESULTS: Children in 'higher-risk' food environments consumed less fruit (OR; 95% CI = 0.39; 0.27-0.57) and vegetables (0.47; 0.34-0.64), and more energy-dense snacks (3.48; 2.16-5.62) and sweetened drinks (3.49; 2.10-5.81) than children in 'lower-risk' food environments. Children in 'higher-risk' activity environments were less physically active (0.43; 0.32-0.59) than children in 'lower-risk' activity environments. Children in 'higher-risk' media environments watched more TV (3.51; 2.48-4.96) than children in 'lower-risk' media environments. Neither the individual nor the overall composite measures were associated with BMI. CONCLUSIONS: Composite measures of the obesogenic home environment were associated as expected with diet, physical activity, and TV viewing. Associations with BMI were not apparent at this age.
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