Clinical Edge

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Healthy Behaviors & Reduced Risk of Obesity

Mayo Clin Proc; ePub 2018 Jul 27; Shook, et al

In a pediatric population, meeting national recommendations for specific behaviors is negatively associated with obesity in a dose-dependent manner, a new study revealed. Participants included 24,255 patients aged 2 to 18 years whose parent/caregiver completed a self-report lifestyle assessment during a well-child examination. Outcome measures included prevalence of patients meeting consensus recommendations for physical activity, screen time, and dairy, water, and fruit and vegetable consumption and the odds of obesity based on reported lifestyle behaviors. Researchers found:

  • Prevalence of meeting recommendations for lifestyle behaviors was highest for physical activity (84%), followed by screen time (61%), and consumption of water (51%), dairy (27%), and fruits/vegetables (10%).
  • Insufficient physical activity was the strongest predictor of obesity (odds ratio [OR], 1.65), followed by excess screen time (OR, 1.36).
  • Disparities existed across ages, races/ethnicities, and sexes for multiple lifestyle habits.
  • Youth who met 0 or 1 lifestyle recommendation were 1.45 to 1.71 times more likely to have obesity than those meeting all 5 recommendations.


Shook RP, Halpin K, Carlson JA, et al. Adherence with multiple national healthy lifestyle recommendations in a large pediatric center electronic health record and reduced risk of obesity. [Published online ahead of print July 27, 2018]. Mayo Clin Proc. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2018.04.020.