The prevalence of overweight is increasing among children in Sweden. The aim is to investigate the development of overweight and obesity from infancy to school age, and to construct, implement and evaluate an intervention program about food and physical activity to prevent further development of overweight and obesity among children.
A follow-up study will be conducted on 267 children at 10 years of age allowing comparison of e.g. food intake, exercise, blood lipids and anthropometric measurements between overweight and normal weight children. Subjects will be requited from a previous project where the children have been studied when they were 6-18 months and when they were 4 years old. Sixteen percent of the children were overweight at 4 years of age and retrospective data of e.g. food intake, blood lipids and anthropometric measurements exists. In the present follow–up data regarding food and physical activity habits, anthropometric measurements and blood samples of e.g. blood lipids, insulin, leptin and IGF1 will be collected. Parental data will also be collected.
An intervention study will be conducted on 80-120 overweight children randomized into one intervention and one control group. An intervention program during two years with group meetings and supervision of children and their parents will encourage long term healthy habits regarding diet and physical activity. Information about food habits will be collected through questionnaires, interviews and diaries. Measurement of physical activity and energy expenditure will be made with accelerometer and double labeled water method, and will be used to validate reported food intake. Further, anthropometric measurements and blood variables for metabolic syndrome will be collected. Parental data will also be collected.
The present research project is of great relevance since early preventive action is important to diminish the negative economic consequences for society as well as individual suffering.