Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cycling in Holland and Norway, associations with overweight

Active transportation is a behavior that might contribute to energy balance and obesity prevention. However, no clear association between active commuting to school and weight status has been reported in the international literature. Also, recent studies suggest that cycling to school might be more health enhancing than walking to school. As keen cyclist, I was happy to be involved in a nice study first authored by Elling Bere on this issue. The purpose of the study was to assess association between cycling to school and weight status in two European cities,
Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Kristiansand, Norway, where cycling to school
remains common. Data from two studies, ENDORSE (Rotterdam) and Youth in Balance (Kristiansand), were used. The adolescents were categorized as cyclist or non-cyclist based on questionnaires on the usual mode of transportation to school.
A total of 25% and 18% were categorized as overweight, and 35% and 31% were categorized as cyclists, in Rotterdam and Kristiansand, respectively.
Cyclist were almost half as likely to be overweight in both cities than non-cyclists, after adjusting for possible confounders.