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Research Article Open Access
Objective: To describe physical activity, sedentary behaviors and sleep duration in toddlers’ participants of the WIC program in Puerto Rico and assess its association with excessive weight.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional analysis of data gathered in the follow-up visit (12 months later) of a longitudinal study among toddlers 12-36 months old participants of the WIC program. In this follow-up visit, a Sleep, Sedentary Behaviors and Physical Activity Questionnaire was included.
Results: From the 213 eligible participants for the follow-up visit, 76 completed the follow-up visit. Most were girls (52.6%), with median age 21 months and most were categorized as healthy weight (76.3%). In general, toddlers spent a total median of 142 min/d in sedentary behaviors, 300 min/d in physical activities and 690 min/d sleeping. There was a higher duration of physical activities among overweight/obese compared to healthy weights (p<0.05) but similar duration of sedentary behaviors and sleep by weight status (p>0.05). There was a greater proportion of overweight/obese toddlers meeting the screen time recommendation (88.9%) compared to healthy weight toddlers (62.1%; p<0.05). Also, there was a significant positive age-adjusted correlation between time spent in unstructured physical activity (R=0.23, p<0.05) with weight-for-length z-score. Infant weight status was not significantly correlated to parent’s perception or knowledge of physical activity or sleep in toddlers (p>0.05).
Conclusion: Most toddlers studied met the recommendations for duration of sleep, sedentary behaviors, and physical activity. Overweight/obese toddlers engage in more physical activities than those with a healthy weight status. These findings could be due to educational interventions by the WIC program to promote physical activities, as these toddlers are active WIC participants.
Junk Food, Eating Behavior in Children