Sex-Specific Associations in Nutrition and Activity-Related Risk Factors for Chronic Disease: Australian Evidence from Childhood to Emerging Adulthood.
Web of Science
AuthorHoare, E; Dash, SR; Jennings, GL; Kingwell, BA
Source TitleInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
University of Melbourne Author/sKingwell, Bronwyn
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsHoare, E., Dash, S. R., Jennings, G. L. & Kingwell, B. A. (2018). Sex-Specific Associations in Nutrition and Activity-Related Risk Factors for Chronic Disease: Australian Evidence from Childhood to Emerging Adulthood.. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 15 (2), pp.214-214. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020214.
Access StatusOpen Access
Open Access at PMChttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5858283
Global assessments of burden of disease suggests there are sex differences in risk factors for chronic disease, including overweight/obesity, dietary patterns and habitual physical activity. Given that prevention efforts aim to target such factors to reduce disease risk, the age at which sex differences may occur is of particular interest. Early life to young adulthood is the optimal time for intervention, with lifestyle habits typically forming during this period. This study aimed to identify the sex differences in risk factors for chronic disease during childhood (5-9 years), adolescence (10-17 years) and emerging adulthood (18-25 years) in a large population-representative Australian sample. Among children in this study (n = 739), no sex-related differences were observed. Among adolescents (n = 1304), females were more likely than males to meet daily fruit and vegetable recommendations (12.9% vs. 7.5%; OR = 1.84, 95% CI = 1.16, 2.93, p < 0.05). Among emerging adults (n = 909), females were less likely to be overweight/obese (30.1% vs. 39.8%; OR = 0.65, 95% CI = 0.44, 0.95, p < 0.05) and more likely to meet physical activity recommendations (52.1% vs. 42.3%; OR = 1.44, 95% CI = 1.01, 2.06, p < 0.05). These findings suggest that sex differences for risk factors of chronic disease occur during adolescence and emerging adulthood, although the differences are not consistent across age periods. From adolescence onwards, it appears that females exhibit lower risk factors than males and a life span approach to risk factor monitoring is warranted.
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