Impact of lifestyle behaviors in early childhood on obesity

Adhering to a healthy lifestyle at age 4 years is associated with a decreased risk of overweight, obesity, and abdominal obesity at 7 years, according to a study published in Pediatric Obesity.

The study assessed five lifestyle behaviors–physical activity, sleep duration, television watching, ultra-processed food consumption, and plant-based food consumption–in 1,480 children when they were 4 years of age.

Limited TV time and low consumption of ultra-processed foods, along with high sleep time, physical activity, and consumption of plant-based foods, were associated with lower body mass index and waist circumference and a lower likelihood of developing overweight or obesity and abdominal obesity at age 7 years. Longer TV viewing was the lifestyle factor that was most strongly associated with the development of obesity.


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