Wednesday, December 19, 2012

No effects of tailored feedback and face to face counseling on health behaviors in hypercholesterolemia patients

In a paper just published in the journal PLOS ONE, with Karen Broekhuizen, who will defend her thesis this Friday and become Dr. Karen Broekhuizen- as first author, we describe the evaluation of an individualised tailored lifestyle intervention on physical activity, dietary intake, smoking and compliance to statin therapy in people with Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH).
Adults with FH (n = 340) were randomly assigned to a usual care control group or an intervention group. The intervention consisted of web-based tailored lifestyle advice and face-to-face counselling. Physical activity, fat, fruit and vegetable intake, smoking and compliance to statin therapy were self-reported at baseline and after 12 months.
Individually tailored feedback did not prove to be superior to no intervention regarding changes in multiple lifestyle behaviours in people with FH. Earlier studies on computer-tailoring did show very promising effects. In the present study actual exposure to the intervention was also suboptimal, and a higher received dose of computer-tailored interventions should be achieved counsellor training should be more extensive.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Television in the bedroom and increased body weight

Kids who spent more time watching TV are more likely to be overweight. This may be because if kids watch a lot of TV they sit too much, they may snack while watching TV, and/or they more exposed to marketing of unhealthy foods. It has been suggested that in order to reduce TV time, the opportunities for watching TV should be diminished: TV should become less accessible and available. In another study just published in the journal Pediatric Obesity, with Dr. Adrian Cameron as first author, we studied if 10-12 year old schoolchildren across Europe who have a TV in their bedroom are more likely to watch more TV, be overweight, and drink more soft drinks. This study was part of the ENERGY project. We found that almost 40% of schoolchildren had a bedroom television, with the highest percentage among Hungarian children (65%) and lowest for Belgian, Slovenian and Spanish children (all ≈28%). A television in the bedroom was positively associated with time spent watching television, soft drink consumption and overweight and obesity. The relationship between a television in the bedroom and measures of body size was partly mediated by total television viewing time but not by sleep duration, physical activity time or soft drink consumption.

Sedentary time, physical activity, and overweight in European schoolchildren

As we published recently in the journal PLOS ONE, more than 20% of 10-12 year old schoolchildren across Europe is overweight or obese. In some countries these rates are much higher, with more than 40% of Greek children being overweight of obese. When kids eat more calories than they use, the gain weight. Preventing overweight and obesity thus means maintaining a good energy balance. At least one hour of medium to high intensity physical activity is recommended for children for fitness and energy-balance. Next to diet and physical activity, too much sedentary behavior, i.e. activities that children do while sitting -watching TV, playing computer games, reading, doing homework et cetera- may be a separate risk behavior for metabolic health; even when children are physically active enough, if they sit most of the rest of the day, they may still be more likely to be overweight and obese. The evidence to support this is mixed at best, however. In our PLOS ONE study we showed that children spend more than two hours per day in front of the TV or computer screen. In separate studies we also showed that such screen time was only a minor part of total sedentary time, and that children who sat most had higher body mass index and waist circumference, but we found no evidence for other negative metabolic health indicators. In a new study just published in Pediatric Obesity, with prof Ilse de Bourdeaudhuij from Ghent University as first author, we now find that girls who show low physical activity and high sedentary time are most likely to be overweight, while for boys physical activity seems more than sedentary time.