Frequency and effects of meeting health behaviour guidelines among adolescents Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: To assess the relationship between overweight status and the concomitant adherence to physical activity, daily screen time and nutritional guidelines. METHODS: Data were derived from the Swiss Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Survey 2006. Participants (n = 8130, 48.7% girls) were divided into two groups: normal weight (n = 7215, 44.8% girls) and overweight (n = 915, 34.8% girls), using self-reported height and weight. Groups were compared on adherence to physical activity, screen time and nutritional guidelines. Bivariate analyses were carried out followed by multivariate analyses using normal-weight individuals as the reference category. RESULTS: Regardless of gender, overweight individuals reported more screen time, less physical activity and less concomitant adherence to guidelines. For boys, the multivariate analysis showed that any amount exceeding screen time recommendations was associated with increased odds of being overweight [>2-4 h: adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.40; >4-6 h: AOR = 1.48; >6 h: AOR = 1.83]. A similar relation was found for any amount below physical activity recommendations (4-6 times a week: AOR = 1.67; 2-3 times a week: AOR = 1.87; once a week or less: AOR = 2.1). For girls, not meeting nutritional guidelines was less likely among overweight individuals (0-2 recommendations: AOR = 0.54). Regardless of weight status, more than half of the adolescents did not comply with any guideline and <2% met all three at the same time. CONCLUSIONS: Meeting current nutritional, physical activity and screen time guidelines should be encouraged with respect to overweight. However, as extremely low rates of concomitant adherence were found regardless of weight status, their achievability is questionable (especially for nutrition), which warrants further research to better adapt them to adolescents.

publication date

  • 2013