Obesity leads to declines in motor skills across childhood
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BackgroundPoor motor skills have been consistently linked with a higher body weight in childhood, but the causal direction of this association is not fully understood. This study investigated the temporal ordering between children's motor skills and weight status at 5 and 10years. MethodsParticipants were 668 children (54% male) who were studied from infancy as part of an iron deficiency anaemia preventive trial and follow-up study in Santiago, Chile. All were healthy, full-term and weighing 3kg or more at birth. Cross-lagged panel modelling was conducted to understand the temporal precedence between children's weight status and motor proficiency. Analyses also examined differences in gross and fine motor skills among healthy weight, overweight, and obese children. ResultsA higher BMI at 5years contributed to declines in motor proficiency from 5 to 10years. There was no support for the reverse, that is, poor motor skills at 5years did not predict increases in relative weight from 5 to 10years. Obesity at 5years also predicted declines in motor proficiency. When compared with normal weight children, obese children had significantly poorer total and gross motor skills at both 5 and 10years. Overweight children had poorer total and gross motor skills at 10years only. The differences in total and gross motor skills among normal weight, overweight and obese children appear to increase with age. There were small differences in fine motor skill between obese and non-obese children at 5years only. ConclusionsObesity preceded declines in motor skills and not the reverse. Study findings suggest that early childhood obesity intervention efforts might help prevent declines in motor proficiency that, in turn, may positively impact children's physical activity and overall fitness levels.
Artículo de publicación ISI
Quote ItemChild: care, health and development, 42, 3, 343–350 may 2016
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