Associations between eating frequency, adiposity, diet, and activity in 9-10 year old healthy-weight and centrally obese children

Amy Jennings, Aedín Cassidy, Esther M F van Sluijs, Simon J Griffin, Ailsa A Welch

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46 Citations (Scopus)


The rising prevalence of childhood obesity is a key public health issue worldwide. Increased eating frequency (EF) is one aspect of diet that has been beneficially associated with obesity, although the mechanisms are unclear. The aims of the current study were to determine whether increased EF was associated with improved adiposity in children, and if this was due to differences in dietary and activity behaviors. Cross-sectional data from 1,700 children aged 9-10 year were analyzed to examine the associations between EF, as estimated from diet diaries, measures of adiposity, and activity measured by accelerometer. Analyses were stratified by obesity status using waist-to-height ratio to define obesity as it has been shown to be a good predictor of adverse health outcomes. Mean EF was 4.3 occasions/day and after adjustment for underreporting, energy intake (EI), and activity significant relative mean differences of -2.4% for body weight (P = 0.001), -1.0% for BMI (P = 0.020), -33% for BMI z-score (P = 0.014), and -0.6% for waist circumference (P = 0.031) per increase in eating occasion were found in healthy-weight but not centrally obese children. Differences between the extreme quartiles of EF were observed for total fat intake at breakfast (-18%, P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1462-8
Number of pages7
Issue number7
Early online date22 Mar 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • Adiposity
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Diet Records
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Great Britain
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Obesity
  • Obesity, Abdominal
  • Patient Compliance
  • Questionnaires
  • Waist Circumference

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