Is motor competence associated with the risk of central obesity in preschoolers?

Publication Type:
Journal Article
American Journal of Human Biology, 2019
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© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Objectives: To investigate the association between motor competence (MC) and central obesity in preschool children. Methods: The sample comprised of 472 children aged 3 to 5 years (4.58 ± 0.70 years, 248 boys) from Recife, Brazil. MC was assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2. Waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) was calculated and a cutoff of 0.5 was used to define central obesity. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between MC and WHtR ≥ 0.5. Results: The prevalence of central obesity (WHtR) was 54.0% and 46.4% for boys and girls, respectively. Older children (OR = 0.61; CI = 0.44-0.84; P <.01) and those with higher MC in locomotor skills (OR = 0.96; CI = 0.93-0.99; P <.01) were less likely to present WHtR ≥ 0.5. Sex and object control skills were not associated with WHtR ≥ 0.5. Conclusions: To reduce the risks of central obesity in children, health practitioners should focus on increasing competence in locomotor skills since preschool years.
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