Sleep Duration, Sedentary Behaviors, and Physical Activity Across Weight Status in Hispanic Toddlers' Participants of the WIC Program

J Child Obes. 2016;1(4):18. doi: 10.21767/2572-5394.100017. Epub 2016 Sep 26.


Objective: To describe physical activity, sedentary behaviors and sleep duration in toddlers' participants of the WIC program in Puerto Rico and assess its association with excessive weight.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional analysis of data gathered in the follow-up visit (12 months later) of a longitudinal study among toddlers 12-36 months old participants of the WIC program. In this follow-up visit, a Sleep, Sedentary Behaviors and Physical Activity Questionnaire was included.

Results: From the 213 eligible participants for the follow-up visit, 76 completed the follow-up visit. Most were girls (52.6%), with median age 21 months and most were categorized as healthy weight (76.3%). In general, toddlers spent a total median of 142 min/d in sedentary behaviors, 300 min/d in physical activities and 690 min/d sleeping. There was a higher duration of physical activities among overweight/obese compared to healthy weights (p<0.05) but similar duration of sedentary behaviors and sleep by weight status (p>0.05). There was a greater proportion of overweight/obese toddlers meeting the screen time recommendation (88.9%) compared to healthy weight toddlers (62.1%; p<0.05). Also, there was a significant positive age-adjusted correlation between time spent in unstructured physical activity (R=0.23, p<0.05) with weight-for-length z-score. Infant weight status was not significantly correlated to parent's perception or knowledge of physical activity or sleep in toddlers (p>0.05).

Conclusion: Most toddlers studied met the recommendations for duration of sleep, sedentary behaviors, and physical activity. Overweight/obese toddlers engage in more physical activities than those with a healthy weight status. These findings could be due to educational interventions by the WIC program to promote physical activities, as these toddlers are active WIC participants.

Keywords: Obesity; Physical activity; Sedentary behaviors; Sleep duration; Toddlers; WIC Program.