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Trends in children`s physical activity and weight status in high and low socio-economic status areas of Melbourne, Victoria, 1985-2001

Salmon, Jo, Timperio, Anna, Cleland, Verity and Venn, Alison 2005, Trends in children`s physical activity and weight status in high and low socio-economic status areas of Melbourne, Victoria, 1985-2001, Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 337-342.

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Title Trends in children`s physical activity and weight status in high and low socio-economic status areas of Melbourne, Victoria, 1985-2001
Author(s) Salmon, Jo
Timperio, Anna
Cleland, Verity
Venn, Alison
Journal name Australian and New Zealand journal of public health
Volume number 29
Issue number 4
Start page 337
End page 342
Publisher Public Health Association of Australia
Place of publication Canberra, A.C.T.
Publication date 2005-08
ISSN 1326-0200
1753-6405
Summary Objective:
To examine trends in active transport to and from school, in school sport and physical education (PE), and in weight status among children from high and low socio-economic status (SES) areas in Melbourne, Victoria, between 1985 and 2001.

Methods:
Cross-sectional survey data and measured height and weight from 1985 (n=557) and 2001 (n=926) were compared for children aged between 9–13 years within high and low SES areas.

Results:

From 1985 to 2001, the frequency of walking to or from school declined (4.38±4.3 vs. 3.61 ± 3.8 trips/wk, p<0.001), cycling to or from school also declined (1.22±2.9 vs. 0.36±1.5 trips/wk, p<0.001), and the frequency of PE lessons declined (1.64±1.1 vs. 1.18±0.9 lessons/wk, p<0.001). However, the frequency of school sport increased (0.9±1.22 vs. 1.24±0.8 sessions/wk, p<0.001). In 1985, 11.7% of children were overweight or obese compared with 28.7% in 2001 (p<0.001). Apart from walking to school and school sport, there were greater relative declines in cycling to school and PE, and increases in overweight and obesity among children attending schools in low SES areas compared with those attending schools in high SES areas.

Conclusions:

Declines in active school transport and PE have occurred at the same time as increases in overweight and obesity among Australian children.

Implications:
Promoting active school transport and maintaining school sport and PE should be important public health priorities in Australia. Current inequities in school sport and PE and in prevalence of overweight and obesity by area-level SES also need to be addressed.
Notes Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.
Language eng
Field of Research 111706 Epidemiology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2005, Public Health Association of Australia
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30003150

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.