Objectives: This article examines factors associated with children aged 4 to 11 becoming and remaining active, and how this differed according to their weight.
Data source: The data are from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth: cycle 1 (1994/95) for the cross-sectional analysis, and cycles 1, 2 and 3 (1994/95 to 1998/99) for the longitudinal analysis.
Analytical techniques: Estimates of physical activity levels in 1994/95 among acceptable-weight and overweight/obese children are presented by age, sex and selected activities (TV viewing, playing computer/video games, and hours of physical education at school). Logistic regression models were constructed for children who were inactive in 1994/95, focusing on the selected activities as predictors of adopting and maintaining an active lifestyle.
Main results: Factors associated with children adopting and maintaining an active lifestyle differed, depending on their weight. For overweight/obese children, but not for acceptable-weight children, a relatively high number of physical education hours was predictive of becoming physically active, while frequent TV viewing lowered the odds.