Clustering of multiple energy balance related behaviors is associated with body fat composition indicators in adolescents: Results from the HELENA and ELANA studies

Appetite. 2018 Jan 1:120:505-513. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.10.008. Epub 2017 Oct 7.


The objective of this study was to identify clustering patterns of four energy balance-related behaviors (EBRB): television (TV) watching, moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA), consumption of fruits and vegetables (F&V), and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), among European and Brazilian adolescents. EBRB associations with different body fat composition indicators were then evaluated. Participants included adolescents from eight European countries in the HELENA (Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescents) study (n = 2,057, 53.8% female; age: 12.5-17.5 years) and from the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro/Brazil in the ELANA study (the Adolescent Nutritional Assessment Longitudinal Study) (n = 968, 53.2% female; age: 13.5-19 years). EBRB data allowed for sex- and study-specific clusters. Associations were estimated by ANOVA and odds ratios. Five clustering patterns were identified. Four similar clusters were identified for each sex and study. Among boys, different cluster identified was characterized by high F&V consumption in the HELENA study and high TV watching and high MVPA time in the ELANA study. Among girls, the different clusters identified was characterized by high F&V consumption in both studies and, additionally, high SSB consumption in the ELANA study. Regression analysis showed that clusters characterized by high SSB consumption in European boys; high TV watching, and high TV watching plus high MVPA in Brazilian boys; and high MVPA, and high SSB and F&V consumption in Brazilian girls, were positively associated with different body fat composition indicators. Common clusters were observed in adolescents from Europe and Brazil, however, no cluster was identified as being completely healthy or unhealthy. Each cluster seems to impact on body composition indicators, depending on the group. Public health actions should aim to promote adequate practices of EBRB.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Brazil
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Pediatric Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Television
  • Vegetables
  • Waist Circumference
  • Young Adult