354 research outputs found

    People, places...and other people? Integrating understanding of intrapersonal, social and environmental determinants of physical activity

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    &ldquo;People or places: what should be the target?&rdquo; was the provocative title of a keynote session at the fifth Australian National Physical Activity Conference held in Melbourne in 2005. This paper will argue that in fact there need not be major conflict between these views, and that couching recent debate about physical activity promotion as a polarised choice between these presents a false dichotomy. To illustrate this, the paper will consider several problems with singular approaches to understanding and promoting physical activity, and will then describe emerging empirical evidence on the nexus between people and places. To balance an increasing emphasis in the scientific literature on physical environmental determinants of physical activity, the role of intrapersonal and social factors will also be revisited. It is concluded that growing evidence supporting the multiple domains of influence on physical activity justifies calls for multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral partnerships and approaches to the promotion of active lifestyles.<br /

    Epiphanies, velcro balls and McDonaldization: highlights from the 5(th )Meeting of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

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    This commentary provides an overview and selected highlights from the scientific program of the 5th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

    Behavioural determinants of the obesity epidemic

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    Obesity is a serious and growing public health problem affecting developed and developing countries. It is generally agreed that the causes of the current obesity epidemic are not genetic in origin, but are the result of changes in the environments in which we live. While acknowledging the importance of environmental factors, the central role of behaviour in the obesity epidemic cannot be ignored. It is our eating, physical activity and sedentary behaviours that form the interface between our biology and the environments to which we are exposed. However, a lack of understanding of the specific behaviours that are important in the aetiology of obesity poses a major constraint to preventing obesity. A better understanding of the behaviours that contribute to weight gain and obesity is critical in order to plan and implement effective obesity prevention initiatives.Theory-driven investigations of eating, physical activity and sedentary behaviours, their determinants, and their role in weight gain and obesity among different population groups are urgent research priorities. Without an understanding of the key behaviours that contribute to weight gain, and the influences on these behaviours, it will remain difficult to identify where to intervene in the environment and be confident that action will prevent obesity.<br /

    Behavior and weight correlates of weight-control efforts in Australian women living in disadvantage : the READI study

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    BackgroundWith increasing obesity rates worldwide, more and more people are actively attempting to lose weight or avoid weight gain, but relatively little is known about what specific behaviors comprise these efforts and which, if any, are associated with better weight control over time.MethodsThis paper reports relationships between body weight, weight-control efforts and related behaviors over a three-year period in 1,634 Australian women. The women were purposefully recruited from 80 disadvantaged neighborhoods in Victoria, Australia. Weight loss efforts were categorized as trying to lose weight, trying to prevent weight gain and no weight-control efforts. Behavioral correlates examined included different kinds of physical activity and consumption of a number of specific foods types.Results and discussionSelf-reported body weight at baseline was higher in women trying to lose weight. Frequency of consumption of low energy density foods was positively associated with reported weight-control efforts, as was frequency of reported total and leisure-time physical activity. Longitudinal associations between changes in weight-control efforts and changes in behaviors were consistent with the cross-sectional findings. At three-year follow up, however, weight-control efforts were not associated with change in body weight. More detailed analyses of specific food choices suggested that part of the explanation of no effect of reported weight-control efforts and weight over time might be that people are not as well-informed as they should be about the energy density of some common foods. In particular, those reporting engagement in weight-control efforts reported reducing consumption of carbohydrate-containing foods such as bread and potatoes more than is justified by their energy content, while they reported increasing consumption of some high energy density foods (e.g., cheese and nuts).ConclusionIt is tentatively concluded that women living in disadvantaged neighborhoods understand messages about weight-control (more activity and foods with lower fat and lower energy density) but that some foods eaten more by women engaged in weight control may reduce the effectiveness of these efforts.<br /

    Food environments: measuring,mapping,monitoring and modifying

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    Correlates of socio-economic inequalities in women’s television viewing : a study of intrapersonal, social and environmental mediators

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    IntroductionSocio-economically disadvantaged women are at a greater risk of spending excess time engaged in television viewing, a behavior linked to several adverse health outcomes. However, the factors which explain socio-economic differences in television viewing are unknown. This study aimed to investigate the contribution of intrapersonal, social and environmental factors to mediating socio-economic (educational) inequalities in women\u27s television viewing.MethodsCross-sectional data were provided by 1,554 women (aged 18-65) who participated in the \u27Socio-economic Status and Activity in Women study\u27 of 2004. Based on an ecological framework, women self-reported their socio-economic position (highest education level), television viewing, as well as a number of potential intrapersonal (enjoyment of television viewing, preference for leisure-time sedentary behavior, depression, stress, weight status), social (social participation, interpersonal trust, social cohesion, social support for physical activity from friends and from family) and physical activity environmental factors (safety, aesthetics, distance to places of interest, and distance to physical activity facilities).ResultsMultiple mediating analyses showed that two intrapersonal factors (enjoyment of television viewing and weight status) and two social factors (social cohesion and social support from friends for physical activity) partly explained the educational inequalities in women\u27s television viewing. No physical activity environmental factors mediated educational variations in television viewing.ConclusionsAcknowledging the cross-sectional nature of this study, these findings suggest that health promotion interventions aimed at reducing educational inequalities in television viewing should focus on intrapersonal and social strategies, particularly providing enjoyable alternatives to television viewing, weight-loss/management information, increasing social cohesion in the neighborhood and promoting friend support for activity.<br /

    Which aspects of socioeconomic status are related to obesity among men and women?

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    OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate the relationships between body weight and fat distribution, and four empirically derived domains of socioeconomic status: employment, housing, migration status and family unit. DESIGN: A population-based study was used. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 8667 randomly-selected adults (4167 men; 4500 women) who participated in the 1995 Australian National Health and Nutrition Surveys provided data on a range of health factors including objective height, weight and body fat distribution, and a range of sociodemographic indicators. RESULTS: Results demonstrated associations for women, after controlling for age, between the employment domain, and body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio. Low status employed women were 1.4 times as likely to be overweight as high status employed women. There were less consistent relationships observed among these factors for men. Relationships between family unit and indicators of body weight and body fat distribution were observed for both men and women, with those who were married, particularly men (OR=1.6, 95% CI 1.4-2.0), at higher risk of overweight. The migration and housing socioeconomic status domains were not consistently associated with body mass index or waist-to-hip ratio. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that different components of socioeconomic status may be important in predicting obesity, and thus should be examined separately. Future research would benefit from investigating the underlying mechanisms governing the relationships between socioeconomic status domains further, particularly those related to employment and family unit and obesity<br /

    Children\u27s perceptions of the use of public open spaces for active free-play

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    Activity performed by children in their free-time may have a significant impact on overall physical activity levels, however, very little is known about the influences on children\u27s active free-play. To examine the role and use of public open spaces, 132 children (6-12 years) from a selection of primary schools participated in small focus group interviews. Children reported that their use of public open spaces was influenced by a combination of intrapersonal, social and environmental factors including; the play equipment and facilities at local parks, lack of independent mobility, urban design features, presence of friends, and personal motivation.<br /
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