Investigating the influence of lifestyle factors affecting children's weight status in a sample of deprived multi-ethnic children

  • Bilal Muhammad

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science by Research


    Introduction: It is well understood that the aetiology of childhood obesity is complex with many contributing factors. A factor that has not been studied to a great extent is muscle strength. Understanding the relationship between lifestyle factors, muscular function and weight status in children can help provide information to effectively target interventions. This study aimed to assess which lifestyle factors had the greatest influence on overweight and obesity in children. Methods: The study recruited 103 participants (50 males, 53 females; mean age ± SD = 9 ± 0.9 years) from three primary schools of low socio-economic status across Coventry. Body composition and weight status were examined using height, body mass, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), and bio-electrical impedance analysis (BIA). Accelerometers were used to objectively measure physical activity (PA). Strength was assessed using a handgrip strength test. Diet was assessed using the Day in the Life Questionnaire (DILQ). Results: Of the children that met PA inclusion criteria, 95% met the guidelines of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) over all days, 97% met the guidelines on weekdays and 85% met the guidelines on weekend days respectively. According to BMI, WC, and BIA determined body fat, 39%, 48%, and 35% of the sample were either overweight or obese whilst 2%, 1%, and 18% were underweight. A positive correlation was observed between absolute strength and weight status. However, when strength was expressed relative to body mass (handgrip strength/body mass) inverse relationships were observed with weight status. There were significant, moderate to weak negative correlations between time spent in vigorous physical activity (VPA) and weight status measures (P<0.05). Conclusions: This study provides evidence that factors such as sex, VPA, and strength had a combined influence on children’s weight status. Nevertheless, it seems all of the factors assessed only had a small influence on weight status.
    Date of AwardJul 2018
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorEmma Eyre (Supervisor)

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