Background: Few studies have investigated how lifestyle is associated with body composition in children born very low birth weight (VLBW, <1500 g), a population at increased risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome in later life.
Objectives: Determine how time spent in physical activity, sedentary time, and sleep are associated with body composition in children born VLBW.
Methods: In this prospective cohort study of 5.5-year-old children born VLBW, height, weight, body composition (skinfolds, air displacement plethysmography), and 7 days of movement data (logbooks and accelerometers) were collected.
Results: Of 158 participants, 53% were male, and mean (SD) birth weight was 1013 (264) g. Only 52% achieved 60 minutes/day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, but 96% achieved sleep recommendations. Reallocating 30 minutes of sedentary time to light physical activity (LPA) was associated with 0.20 kg/m2 (95% CI, 0.02 to 0.37) greater fat-free mass index. An equivalent inverse association was found when reallocating LPA to sedentary time. No associations were found for other movement behaviours.
Conclusions: Promoting LPA and reducing sedentary time may be an important strategy in reducing the elevated risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome amongst those born VLBW by supporting lean mass accretion. Funded by CIHR (FHG 129919) and SickKids Restracomp.
Keywords: body composition; obesity; physical activity; preterm; very low birth weight.
© 2020 World Obesity Federation.