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Teen girls' dropping activity levels linked to rises in BMI and obesity.

A steep decrease in activity levels among teenaged girls as they age correlates with increases in body mass index and adiposity, particularly among African American girls, reported Dr. Sue Y.S. Kimm, of the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Dr. Kimm and her associates assessed body mass index (BMI) and sum of skinfold thickness annually in 1,152 black and 1,135 white girls from age 9-10 years to age 18-19 years. They also measured habitual activity at year 1, year 3, year 5, and annually from year 7 to year 10 (Lancet 2005;366:301-7).

A decline in physical activity of 10 metabolic-equivalent times per week (brisk walking 2.5 hours per week) was tied to increases in BMI (0.14 kg/[m.sup.2] and 0.09 in African American and white girls, respectively), and the sum of skinfold thickness (0.62 mm and 0.63 mm for black and white girls, respectively).

By the end of the study, the difference in body mass index between the most active and least active girls was 2.98 among African American girls and 2.10 among white girls; similar differences were found for the sum of skinfold thickness. All measures in moderately active girls generally fell in between those for the most and least active girls. Notably, childbirth was more than three times more frequent for black girls, and smoking was three times more common for white girls at ages 15-16 years.

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Title Annotation:Clinical Rounds
Author:Foley, Kevin
Publication:Pediatric News
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Apr 1, 2006
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