Saturday, July 12, 2014

Increases in BMI, waist circumference and skin folds in Dutch teenagers between 2003 and 2011

In a paper just published in the journal Pediatric Obesity we compared anthropometrics of 12- to 14-year-old Dutch adolescents attending lower levels of education in 2011 with adolescents measured in 2003. Femke van Nassau is first author on this paper. We measured adolescents' body height and weight, skin-fold thickness, and waist circumference in 2003 among 1000 youngsters and in 2011 among 1898.
In boys, prevalence of overweight, waist circumference, triceps, biceps and subscapular skin-folds were significantly higher in 2011. This was also true for girls, except for the subscapular skin-fold. These data confirm that -despite the fact that Dutch youngsters are less likely to be overweight than in many other countries - Dutch adolescents have been getting bigger and fatter.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Determinants of exercise adherence and maintenance among cancer survivors: a systematic review

There is better and better evidence that exercise and physical activity is of utmost importance for health and quality of life for cancer survivors. Special exercise and physical activity-based cancer rehabilitation programs are therefore developed, tested and implemented. For such an exercise intervention to be successful, it is -evidently- important that cancer survivors adhere to the prescribed program. To be able to improve adherence and thus the effects of cancer rehabilitation, insights into the factors that may determine adherence to such programs is important. In a paper just published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity -with Caroline Kampshoff as first author- we aimed to systematically review determinants of exercise adherence and maintenance in cancer survivors. This review was part of the A-CaRe (Alpe D'Huzes Cancer Rehabilitation) research program Eighteen studies were reviewed in which a range of potential determinants of adherence were studied, but only very few of these potential determinants were supported by the available evidence. We found moderate evidence for a positive association between exercise history and exercise adherence, i.e. that patients who already were physically active before becoming a cancer patient, were more likely to adhere to exercise programs. Inconsistent findings were found for age, gender and education as well as for psychological factors such as stage of change, perceived behavioral control, self-efficacy, extraversion, attitude, intention, fatigue, and quality of life, and physical factors including cardiovascular fitness, body mass index, and baseline physical activity.