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1.  Brazilian Adults' Sedentary Behaviors by Life Domain: Population-Based Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91614.
There is rapidly-emerging evidence on the harmful health effects of sedentary behaviors. The aim of this paper was to quantify time in sedentary behaviors and document socio-demographic variations in different life domains among adults.
A population-based survey was carried out in 2012 through face-to-face interviews with Brazilian adults aged 20+ years (N = 2,927). Information about time spent sedentary in a typical weekday was collected for five different domains (workplace, commuting, school/university, watching TV, and computer use at home). Descriptive and bivariate analyses examined variations in overall and domain-specific sedentary time by gender, age, educational attainment and socioeconomic position.
On average, participants reported spending 5.8 (SD 4.5) hours per day sitting. The median value was 4.5 (interquartile range: 2.5–8) hours. Men, younger adults, those with higher schooling and from the wealthiest socioeconomic groups had higher overall sedentary scores. TV time was higher in women, older adults and among those with low schooling and socioeconomic position. Sedentary time in transport was higher in men, younger adults, and participants with high schooling and high socioeconomic position. Computer use at home was more frequent among young adults and those from high socioeconomic groups. Sitting at work was higher in those with higher schooling and from the wealthiest socioeconomic groups. Sedentary behavior at school was related inversely to age and directly to schooling.
Patterns of sedentary behavior are different by life domains. Initiatives to reduce prolonged sitting among Brazilian adults will be required on multiple levels for different life domains.
PMCID: PMC3950247  PMID: 24619086
2.  Socioeconomic Trajectories From Birth to Adolescence and Risk Factors for Noncommunicable Disease: Prospective Analyses 
The Journal of Adolescent Health  2012;51(6):S32-S37.
To evaluate the associations between family socioeconomic trajectories from 0 to 11 years of age and risk factors for noncommunicable disease at 15 years.
Individuals born in the city of Pelotas, Brazil, in 1993 are part of a birth cohort study. Socioeconomic position, collected at birth and at 11 years of age, was our main exposure. Risk factors for chronic disease were collected at 15 years. Body mass index was transformed into Z score using the World Health Organization standard. Transport and leisure-time physical activity, smoking, and alcohol consumption were assessed by self-report. Blood pressure was measured using a digital sphygmomanometer.
Of 5,249 cohort members, 85.7% were located at the 15-year follow-up visit. Rich adolescents were more likely to be overweight, be obese, and not use active modes of transport to school. Poor adolescents were more likely to smoke. In relation to socioeconomic trajectories, the odds of obesity were 46% higher among those who were “always rich” compared with those who were “always poor”; the odds of use of an inactive mode of transportation were 326% greater among the “always rich” than the “always poor,” whereas the reverse was observed for smoking (odds of 200%). The “always rich” had one-half the odds of walking or cycling to school compared with those who became wealthy in the studied period.
Adolescent socioeconomic position is a stronger determinant of risk factors for noncommunicable diseases than socioeconomic trajectories. However, trajectories do matter, particularly in terms of use of active transportation to school.
PMCID: PMC3508416  PMID: 23283158
Socioeconomic factors; Poverty; Adolescent; Chronic diseases
3.  Nutritional status of adolescents: the 11-year follow-up of the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) birth cohort study 
Cadernos de saude publica  2010;26(10):1895-1903.
We evaluate the influence of demographic, socioeconomic, and maternal variables on the nutritional status of adolescents aged 11 years. We conducted a prospective cohort study including 4,452 adolescents born in Pelotas, Southern Brazil, in 1993, accounting for 87.5% of the original cohort. Nutritional status was evaluated based on World Health Organization criteria. Subjects were classified according to nutritional status into thin, normal, overweight and obese. Independent variables analyzed included skin color, socioeconomic status, maternal schooling, and maternal body mass index (BMI). Analyses were stratified by sex, and multivariable regression was performed using the multinomial logistic approach. Overall, 7% of adolescents were classified as thin, 11.6% as overweight, and 11.6% as obese. Among boys, thinness was inversely associated with maternal schooling and maternal BMI. Among girls, thinness was directly associated with maternal BMI. Overweight and obesity were directly associated with socioeconomic status and maternal BMI, the former showing the strongest association with nutritional status among adolescents.
PMCID: PMC3836176  PMID: 20963286
Nutritional Status; Adolescent; Cohort Studies
4.  Happiness and Depression in Adolescence after Maternal Smoking during Pregnancy: Birth Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80370.
Prenatal cigarette smoke exposure may have adverse psychological effects on offspring. The objective was to assess the association between parental smoking during pregnancy and offspring happiness at age 18, as well as depression.
Participants were part of a birth cohort study in Pelotas, Brazil (5,249 participants). Happiness was measured by the Subjective Happiness Scale, a Likert-like scale with four questions generating a score from 1 to 7, with ≥ 6 indicating "happiness". Depression was measured using the Mini International Psychiatric Interview.
About one third of mothers reported having smoked during pregnancy and 4.6% reported smoking 20 or more cigarettes a day. The prevalence of happiness was 32.2% (95% CI 30.8; 33.7), depression 6.8% (95% CI 6.1; 7.6), and simultaneous happiness and depression less than 1%. The prevalence of offspring happiness decreased as smoking in pregnancy increased, even after control for confounding variables, showing an OR = 0.79 [95% CI 0.55; 1.13]. The opposite happened to depression; the prevalence of offspring depression increased as smoking in pregnancy increased (<20 cigarettes/day OR = 1.38 [95% CI 1.03; 1.84] and ≥20 cigarettes/day OR = 2.11[95% CI 1.31; 3.40]. Smoking by the partner was associated with decreased offspring happiness after adjustment for confounders, but did no show association with offspring depression.
Offspring were less likely to be happy and more likely to be depressed if their mother smoked during pregnancy, and less likely to be happy if their father smoked during mother’s pregnancy. Although we can not affirm that this is a “causal pathway”, public policies to reduce smoking in pregnancy could improve the health of the offspring in the short and long term.
PMCID: PMC3827230  PMID: 24265817
5.  Energy Expenditure Compared to Physical Activity Measured by Accelerometry and Self-Report in Adolescents: A Validation Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e77036.
Physical inactivity is responsible for 5.3 million deaths annually worldwide. To measure physical activity energy expenditure, the doubly labeled water (DLW) method is the gold standard. However, questionnaires and accelerometry are more widely used. We compared physical activity measured by accelerometer and questionnaire against total (TEE) and physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) estimated by DLW.
TEE, PAEE (TEE minus resting energy expenditure) and body composition were measured using the DLW technique in 25 adolescents (16 girls) aged 13 years living in Pelotas, Brazil. Physical activity was assessed using the Actigraph accelerometer and by self-report. Physical activity data from accelerometry and self-report were tested against energy expenditure data derived from the DLW method. Further, tests were done to assess the ability of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) to predict variability in TEE and to what extent adjustment for fat and fat-free mass predicted the variability in TEE.
TEE varied from 1,265 to 4,143 kcal/day. It was positively correlated with physical activity (counts) estimated by accelerometry (rho  = 0.57; p = 0.003) and with minutes per week of physical activity by questionnaire (rho  = 0.41; p = 0.04). An increase of 10 minutes per day in moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) relates to an increase in TEE of 141 kcal/day. PAEE was positively correlated with accelerometry (rho  = 0.64; p = 0.007), but not with minutes per week of physical activity estimated by questionnaire (rho  = 0.30; p = 0.15). Physical activity by accelerometry explained 31% of the vssariability in TEE. By incorporating fat and fat-free mass in the model, we were able to explain 58% of the variability in TEE.
Objectively measured physical activity significantly contributes to the explained variance in both TEE and PAEE in Brazilian youth. Independently, body composition also explains variance in TEE, and should ideally be taken into account when using accelerometry to predict energy expenditure values.
PMCID: PMC3817188  PMID: 24223707
6.  Hospital admissions from birth to early adolescence and early-life risk factors: the 11-year follow-up of the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) birth cohort study 
Cadernos de saude publica  2010;26(10):1980-1989.
The aim of this prospective analysis was to describe the cumulative incidence of hospital admissions in the first year of life and between 1 and 11 years of age and to explore associated factors. Hospital admissions were collected through regular monitoring in the first year of life, and through maternal report on admissions between 1 and 11 years. Analyses were stratified by sex and adjusted for confounding factors. 18.1% of children were hospitalized in the first year of life, and 30.7% between ages 1 and 11 years. Among boys, hospital admission in the first year was associated with low family income, paternal smoking during pregnancy, preterm delivery, and low birthweight. Among girls, in addition to the variables described for boys, black/mixed skin color was also a risk factor for hospital admission. For admissions between 1 and 11 years of age, low family income and gestational age ≥ 37 weeks were found to be significant risk factors.
PMCID: PMC3795331  PMID: 20963296
Hospitalization; Adolescent; Child; Cohort Studies
7.  Oral health follow-up studies in the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) birth cohort study: methodology and principal results 
Cadernos de saude publica  2010;26(10):1990-1999.
The aim of this study was to describe oral health follow-up studies nested in a birth cohort. A population-based birth cohort was launched in 1993 in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Two oral health follow-up studies were conducted at six (n = 359) and 12 (n = 339) years of age. A high response rate was observed at 12 years of age; 94.4% of the children examined at six years of age were restudied in 2005. The mean DMF-T index at age 12 was 1.2 (SD = 1.6) for the entire sample, ranging from 0.6 (SD = 1.1) for children that were caries-free at age six, 1.3 (SD = 1.5) for those with 1-3 carious teeth at six years, and 1.8 (SD = 1.8) for those with 4-19 carious teeth at six years (p < 0.01). The number of individuals with severe malocclusions at 12 years was proportional to the number of malocclusions at six years. Oral health problems in early adolescence were more prevalent in individuals with dental problems at six years of age.
PMCID: PMC3794421  PMID: 20963297
Oral Health; Cohort Studies; Child; Adolescent
8.  Intake of fat and fiber-rich foods according to socioeconomic status: the 11-year follow-up of the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) birth cohort study 
Cadernos de saude publica  2010;26(10):1904-1911.
This study describes the food intake of adolescents participating in the 1993 birth cohort from Pelotas, Southern Brazil, according to socioeconomic position. We carried out a cross-sectional analysis of data collected in the 2004-2005 follow-up visit. Food intake in the previous year was evaluated using the Block questionnaire. Socioeconomic status was evaluated based on an assets index, divided into quintiles. Foods with the highest frequency of daily intake were white bread (83%), butter or margarine (74.6%), beans (66.4%) and milk (48.5%). Intake of butter or margarine, bread, and beans was more frequent among poorer adolescents, and the inverse was true for milk. Intake of fruits and vegetables was low in all socioeconomic strata, but particularly low among the poor. In early adolescence, all socioeconomic groups showed high consumption of foods rich in fat and low consumption of foods rich in fiber.
PMCID: PMC3794422  PMID: 20963287
Eating; Food Habits; Socioeconomic Factors; Adolescent; Cohort Studies
9.  Concurrent determinants of blood pressure among adolescents: the 11-year follow-up of the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) birth cohort study 
Cadernos de saude publica  2010;26(10):1972-1979.
The aim of this study was to evaluate concurrent risk factors for high blood pressure in adolescents. This is a prospective cohort study including 4,452 adolescents born in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil, in 1993. Blood pressure was measured before and after the interview, and the mean value was used in the analyses. Mean systolic blood pressure was 101.9mmHg (SD = 12.3) and mean diastolic pressure was 63.4mmHg (SD = 9.9). Adolescents with black skin had higher blood pressure than those with white skin. Mean systolic pressure among subjects in the top quartile of body mass index (BMI) was 11.6mmHg higher than among those in the lowest quartile. Mean systolic pressure among postmenarcheal girls was 5.4mmHg higher than among premenarcheal girls. Similar trends were found for diastolic arterial pressure. Our findings suggest that blood pressure control must begin already in childhood and adolescence.
PMCID: PMC3794424  PMID: 20963295
Blood Pressure; Adolescent; Cohort Studies
10.  Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Associations Between Physical Activity and Blood Pressure in Adolescence: Birth Cohort Study 
To explore cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between self-reported and accelerometry-based physical activity (PA) and blood pressure (BP) between 11 and 14 years of age.
Prospective birth cohort study in Pelotas, Brazil. Participants were 427 cohort members who were followed up with at 11, 12, and 14 years of age, and had questionnaire data on PA and BP at 11 and 14 years, as well as accelerometry and questionnaire data on PA at 12 years. Outcome measures were continuous systolic and diastolic BP at 14 years, and change in BP from 11 to 14 years.
PA was unrelated to systolic BP in any analyses. PA measured by accelerometry at 12 years, but not questionnaire-derived PA, was inversely associated with diastolic BP at 14 years of age in fully adjusted models. Those who exceeded the 300-minutes PA threshold at all 3 visits had a 2.6 mmHg lower mean increase in DBP from 11 to 14 years compared with those classified below the threshold in all visits.
Accelerometry-based PA was longitudinally inversely associated with diastolic BP. This finding was not evident when analyzing self-reported PA at a given age, suggesting a possible underestimation of the association when using subjective data.
PMCID: PMC3672951  PMID: 21597118
motor activity; adolescence; prospective studies
12.  A Longitudinal Evaluation of Physical Activity in Brazilian Adolescents: Tracking, Change and Predictors 
Pediatric exercise science  2012;24(1):58-71.
This study aimed to: 1) describe the change in leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) during early-to-mid adolescence; 2) analyze the tracking of LTPA; 3) identify the predictors of LTPA change. 4,120 adolescents were from 11 to 15 years old. Outcome was self-reported LTPA (min/wk). Boys increased their LTPA level over the four years (mean: 75 min/wk; 95%CI: 49,100), whereas a decrease was observed among girls (mean: −42 min/wk; 95%CI: −57,−28). Likelihood to be active at 15 years of age was 50% higher (95%CI: 39–62) among those who were active at 11 years. The main predictor of LTPA change was the number of physical activities performed at baseline. Regular physical activity early in life can predict this behavior afterward.
PMCID: PMC3650301  PMID: 22433265
13.  Validity of Partial Protocols to Assess the Prevalence of Periodontal Outcomes and Associated Sociodemographic and Behavior Factors in Adolescents and Young Adults 
Journal of periodontology  2011;83(3):369-378.
Most studies comparing prevalence of periodontal disease and risk factors by using partial protocols were performed in adult populations, with several studies being conducted in clinical settings. The aim of this study is to assess the accuracy of partial protocols in estimating the prevalence of periodontal outcomes in adolescents and young adults from two population-based birth cohorts from Pelotas, Brazil, and to assess differences in the estimation and strength of the effect measures when partial protocols are adopted compared to full-mouth examination.
Gingival bleeding at probing among adolescents (n = 339) and young adults (n = 720) and dental calculus and periodontal probing depth among young adults were assessed using full-mouth examinations and four partial protocols: Ramfjord teeth (RT), community periodontal index (CPI), and two random diagonal quadrants (1 and 3, 2 and 4). Socioeconomic, demographic, and periodontal health-related variables were also collected. Sensitivity, absolute and relative bias, and inflation factors were calculated. Prevalence ratio for each periodontal outcome for the risk factors was estimated.
Two diagonal quadrants showed better accuracy; RT had the worst, whereas CPI presented an intermediate pattern when compared to full-mouth examination. For bleeding assessment in adolescence, RT and CPI underestimated by 18.4% and 16.2%, respectively, the true outcome prevalence, whereas among young adults, all partial protocols underestimated the prevalence. All partial protocols presented similar magnitude of association measures for all investigated periodontal potential risk factors.
Two diagonal quadrants protocol may be effective in identifying the risk factors for the most relevant periodontal outcomes in adolescence and in young adulthood.
PMCID: PMC3605763  PMID: 21859320
Data collection; epidemiologic studies; periodontal index
14.  Birth weight, postnatal weight gain and adult body composition in five low and middle income countries 
Evaluate associations between birth weight (BW), infancy and childhood weight gain and adult body composition.
Subjects included participants of five birth cohort studies from low and middle income nations (Brazil, Guatemala, India, Philippines, South Africa; n=3432). We modeled adult body composition as a function of BW and conditional weight gain (CW), representing changes in weight trajectory relative to peers, in three age intervals (0-12m, 12-24m, 24m-mid childhood).
In 34 of 36 site- and sex-specific models, regression coefficients associated with BW and CWs were higher for adult fat-free than for fat mass. The strength of coefficients predicting fat-free mass relative to those predicting fat mass was greatest for birth weight, intermediate for CWs through 24 months, and weaker thereafter. However, because fat masses were smaller and showed larger variances than fat-free masses, weaker relationships with fat mass still yielded modest but significant increases in adult % body fat (PBF). CW at 12 months and mid-childhood tended to be strongest predictors of PBF, while BW was generally the weakest predictor of PBF. For most early growth measures, a 1 SD change predicted less than a 1% change in adult body fat, suggesting that any health impacts of early growth on changes in adult body composition are likely to be small in these cohorts.
Birth weight and weight trajectories up to 24 months tend to be more strongly associated with adult fat-free mass than with fat mass, while weight trajectories in mid-childhood predict both fat mass and fat-free mass.
PMCID: PMC3541478  PMID: 22121058
body fat; cohort studies; developing countries; DOHaD; obesity
15.  Prospective Findings From the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort Study 
PMCID: PMC3508406  PMID: 22794527
16.  Incidence of School Failure According to Baseline Leisure-Time Physical Activity Practice: Prospective Study 
The Journal of Adolescent Health  2012;51(6):S22-S26.
To evaluate the prospective association between leisure-time physical activity practice at 11 years of age and incidence of school failure from 11 to 15 years of age.
The sample comprised >4,300 adolescents followed up from birth to 15 years of age participating in a birth cohort study in Pelotas, Brazil. The incidence of school failure from age 11 to 15 years was calculated by first excluding from the analyses all subjects who experienced a school failure before 11 years of age, and then categorizing as “positive” all those who reported repeating a grade at school from 11 to 15 years of age. Leisure-time physical activity was measured using a validated questionnaire.
The incidence of school failure was 47.9% among boys and 38.2% among girls. Adolescents in the top quartile of leisure-time physical activity practice at 11 years of age had a higher likelihood of school failure (OR: 1.36; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.75) compared with the least active adolescents. In adjusted analyses stratified by sex, boys in the top quartile of leisure-time physical activity practice at 11 years of age were also more likely to have failed at school from age 11 to 15 years (OR: 1.60; 95% CI: 1.09, 2.33).
Adolescents allocating >1,000 min/wk to leisure-time physical activity were more likely to experience a school failure from 11 to 15 years of age. Although this finding does not advocate against physical activity promotion, it indicates that excess time allocated to physical activity may jeopardize school performance among adolescents.
PMCID: PMC3508407  PMID: 23283155
School achievement; Adolescents; Cohort; Physical activity
17.  Life Course Association of Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy and Offspring's Height: Data From the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort 
The Journal of Adolescent Health  2012;51(6):S53-S57.
To evaluate the effect of (1) maternal smoking during pregnancy; and (2) partner smoking on offspring's height in infancy, childhood, and adolescence.
All hospital live births from 1993 (5,249) were identified, and these infants were followed up at several ages. Height for age, expressed as z-scores using the World Health Organization growth curves, was measured at all follow-up visits. Maternal smoking during pregnancy was collected retrospectively at birth and analyzed as number of cigarettes/day smoked categorized in four categories (never smoked, <10, 10–19, and ≥20 cigarettes/day). Partner smoking was analyzed as a dichotomous variable (No/Yes). Unadjusted and adjusted analyses were performed by use of linear regression.
The prevalence of self-reported maternal smoking during pregnancy was 33.5%. In the crude analysis, the number of cigarettes/day smoked by the mother during pregnancy negatively affected offspring's height in infancy, childhood, and adolescence. After adjustment for confounders and mediators, this association remained statistically significant, although the magnitude of the regression coefficients was reduced. Paternal smoking was not associated with offspring's height in the adjusted analyses.
In addition to the well-known harmful effects of smoking, maternal smoking during pregnancy negatively affects offspring's height. Public health policies aimed at continuing to reduce the prevalence of maternal smoking during pregnancy must be encouraged.
PMCID: PMC3508408  PMID: 23283162
Smoking; Height by age; Body height; Growth; Child; Adolescent; Cohort studies
18.  Physical Activity and Lung Function in Adolescents: The 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort Study 
The Journal of Adolescent Health  2012;51(6):S27-S31.
To evaluate the association between physical activity changes in those aged 11 to 15 years and lung function at age 15 years.
The original cohort comprised 5,249 hospital-born children during the calendar year of 1993 in Pelotas, Brazil. In 2004–2005 and 2008–2009, all cohort members were sought for follow-up visits. Self-reported physical activity was measured at ages 11 and 15 years. At the 2008–2009 visit, when participants were 15 years old, spirometry was performed. Linear regression was used, and all analyses were stratified by sex.
Of the 5,249 original members of the cohort, 4,325 were located at 15 years of age, and spirometry was performed on 4,010 members. Forced expiratory volume in 1 second was not associated with physical activity. In girls, those who were active in leisure time in both periods have better percent-predicted forced vital capacity (β = 3.573 [95% confidence interval {CI}: 1.015, 6.130]) and forced expiratory volume in the 6 seconds (β = .095 [95% CI: .021, .168]) than those who were inactive in the two periods. Also in girls, those who became active at 15 years of age had higher peak expiratory flow than those who were inactive at 11 and 15 years of age. In boys, only those who became inactive in leisure time had worse peak expiratory flow (β = −.180 [95% CI: −.339, −.021]) than boys who were inactive at ages 11 and 15 years.
Self-reported leisure-time physical activity was associated with better effort-dependent lung function parameters, particularly among girls.
PMCID: PMC3508410  PMID: 23283156
Physical activity; Lung function; Cohort; Adolescents
19.  Predictors of Body Mass Index Change From 11 to 15 Years of Age: The 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort Study 
The Journal of Adolescent Health  2012;51(6):S65-S69.
We explored predictors of nutritional status change from 11 to 15 years of age by analyzing prospective data.
We collected data at 11 and 15 years of age from individuals born in 1993 in Pelotas, Brazil. We assessed nutritional status using body mass index (BMI) for age in z-score according to the World Health Organization 2007 standards. Independent variables collected at 11 years of age were socioeconomic position, adolescent's perception of own weight, body dissatisfaction, and weight loss dieting.
Of the 4,032 adolescents whose nutritional status could be evaluated in the two follow-ups, 93% maintained their nutritional status classification from 11 to 15 years. A total of 102 (2.8%) became obese and 181 (4.5%) ceased to be obese in the 4-year period. The prevalence of obesity decreased from 11 to 15 years of age in both boys and girls. Low-income girls were more likely to become obese from 11 to 15 years of age compared with high-income ones. Among boys, those with high income were more likely to cease being obese compared those with low income. Those who perceived themselves to be obese, who wished to have a smaller silhouette, and who were on diets to lose weight were more likely to become obese or to achieve a normal BMI category at 15 years of age.
BMI tracks strongly in early adolescence. This finding suggests that interventions to more effectively change nutritional status should be implemented in childhood and should consider emotional aspects as well as social and biological ones.
PMCID: PMC3508412  PMID: 23283164
Obesity; Adolescent; Cohort studies; Body mass index
20.  Associations of Intrauterine and Postnatal Weight and Length Gains With Adolescent Body Composition: Prospective Birth Cohort Study From Brazil 
The Journal of Adolescent Health  2012;51(6):S58-S64.
Early growth patterns have been associated with subsequent obesity risk. However, findings from middle-income populations suggest that early infant growth may benefit lean mass and height rather than adiposity. We tested the hypothesis that rapid weight or length gain in different growth periods would be associated with size and body composition in adolescence, in a prospective birth cohort from southern Brazil.
Body composition was assessed in 425 adolescents (52.2% male) at 14 years. Exposures were birth weight z-score and conditional growth in weight or length for the periods 0–6, 6–12 and 12–48 months. Differences in anthropometric and body composition outcomes between tertiles of growth in each period were tested by one-way analysis of variance.
Size at birth and conditional weight and length at 6 months were associated with later height. The effect of infant weight gain on lean mass was greater for males than females, and effect on fat mass greater for females than males. By early childhood, rapid weight gain generated relatively similar effects on both tissue masses in both sexes. Rapid length gain had stronger effects on outcomes in males than females at each time point, and benefited lean mass more than adiposity. All effects were substantially attenuated after adjusting for current height. Early weight gain was more important than length gain at influencing body composition outcomes in adolescence.
Rapid infant weight and length gains were primarily associated with larger size in adolescence rather than increased adiposity. From one year onwards, associations between rapid weight gain and fat and lean masses remained after adjustment for height.
PMCID: PMC3508414  PMID: 23283163
Body composition; Growth; Obesity; Nutritional programming
21.  Adolescents' Perception of Causes of Obesity: Unhealthy Lifestyles or Heritage? 
The Journal of Adolescent Health  2012;51(6):S46-S52.
To evaluate adolescents' perception of the causes of obesity, with emphasis on differences according to nutritional status and socioeconomic position.
We conducted qualitative research including 80 adolescents belonging to the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort Study, and their mothers. We classified adolescent boys and girls into four groups (girls–obese, girls–eutrophic, boys–obese, and boys-eutrophic) according to body mass index for age and sex, and systematically selected them according to family income at age 15 years. Research techniques included semistructured interviews and history of life. Topics covered in the interviews included early experiences with weight management, effect of weight on social relationships, family history, eating habits, and values.
Low-income obese adolescents and their mothers perceive obesity as a heritage, caused by family genes, side effects of medication use, and stressful life events. However, low-income eutrophic adolescents emphasize the role of unhealthy diets on obesity development. Among the high-income adolescents, those who are obese attribute it to genetic factors and emotional problems, whereas those who are eutrophic mention unhealthy diets and lack of physical activity as the main causes of obesity.
Perceptions of the causes of obesity in adolescents from a middle-income setting vary by gender, socioeconomic position, and nutritional status. Whereas some blame genetics as responsible for obesity development, others blame unhealthy diets and lifestyles, and others acknowledge the roles of early life experiences and family traditions in the process of obesity development.
PMCID: PMC3508415  PMID: 23283160
Adolescence; Obesity; Medicalization; Qualitative research; Fatness; Social control; Cohort studies
22.  Socioeconomic Changes and Adolescent Psychopathology in a Brazilian Birth Cohort Study 
The Journal of Adolescent Health  2012;51(6):S5-S10.
To investigate the effects of socioeconomic changes from birth to 11 years of life on emotional, conduct, and attentional/hyperactivity problems in 15-year-old adolescents, from the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) birth cohort study.
The original cohort was composed of 5,249 hospital-born children whose mothers answered a questionnaire. We conducted interviews with 87.5% and 85.7% of the original cohort in 2004–2005 and 2008, respectively. We divided family income changes into nine possible categories based on two assessment points (birth and 11 years of age) and three income levels. To assess the psychopathology of the adolescents at 15 years of age, 4,423 mothers answered the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire.
Adolescents who were always poor or who became poor between birth and 11 years of age had greater conduct problems at 15 years of age. There was no consistent association between poverty and emotional and attentional/hyperactivity problems.
The effects of income change were more specific to conduct problems than to emotional and attentional/hyperactivity problems, similar to what has been previously described in developed countries.
PMCID: PMC3508417  PMID: 23283161
Psychopathology; Income; Poverty; Socioeconomic status; Conduct disorders; Emotional disorders; Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder adolescence
23.  Is Obesity a Risk Factor for Wheezing Among Adolescents? A Prospective Study in Southern Brazil 
The Journal of Adolescent Health  2012;51(6):S38-S45.
To investigate the effect of obesity at the start of adolescence on the prevalence, incidence and maintenance of chest wheezing among individuals aged 11–15 years in a birth cohort in a developing country.
The seventh follow-up of the 1993 Pelotas birth cohort occurred in 2004 (individuals aged 10–11 years). Between January and August 2008, the eighth follow-up of the cohort was conducted. All the individuals of the original cohort who were alive (who were then adolescents aged between 14 and 15 years) were targets for the study. The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaire was used to define wheezing. In addition to the body mass index (BMI), used to define obesity by the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria, we assessed skinfold thickness.
From the original cohort, 4,349 individuals were located (85.7% follow-up rate). The prevalence of chest wheezing at 11 and 15 years were 13.5% (95% CI: 12.5%–14.5%) and 12.1% (95% CI: 11.1%–13.1%), respectively. The prevalence of wheezing at both times was 4.5% (95% CI: 3.9%–5.1%) and the incidence of wheezing was 7.5% (95% CI: 6.7%–8.3%). Independent of the effect of various confounding variables, the prevalence of wheezing at 15 years was 50% greater among obese individuals than among eutrophic individuals at 11 years (RR 1.53; 95% CI: 1.14–2.05). The greater the skinfold tertile at 11 years, the higher the prevalence of wheezing at 15 years was (p = .011). Weight status and skinfolds did not present any association with incident wheezing. After controlling for confounding factors, the risk of persistent wheezing among obese individuals at 11 years was 1.82 (95% CI: 1.30–2.54).
Since obesity at the start of adolescence is associated with asthma symptom persistence, prevention and treatment of obesity may reduce avoidable healthcare costs and disease burden.
PMCID: PMC3500686  PMID: 23283159
Body mass index; Obesity; Skinfold; Wheezing; Adolescence; Longitudinal
24.  Predictors of physical activity change during adolescence: a 3·5-year follow-up 
Public Health Nutrition  2012;15(12):2237-2245.
To investigate the predictors of change in physical activity (PA) from early to mid adolescence in a cohort of adolescents.
Prospective, population-based birth cohort study. PA level was evaluated by means of questionnaire, and was analysed in continuous form (min/week) and as a trajectory (inactive–inactive, inactive–active, active–inactive, active–active) based on the cut-off point of 300 min/week.
Pelotas, a city of 340 000 inhabitants in southern Brazil.
Adolescents (n 4120) followed from 11 to 15 years of age.
Maternal PA change and more exposure to outdoors were directly associated with a positive change in PA level (min/week) for both genders. Higher maturation status (among boys) and later menarche were also associated with positive PA change in min/week. Predictors to remain inactive were: maternal PA change (inverse association), more exposure to outdoors, higher socio-economic level, fear of living in the neighbourhood and non-overweight girls. Predictors to become inactive were higher socio-economic level among boys and increase in screen time among girls.
The study demonstrates that social, family, biological, behavioural and environmental factors exert an important role in the PA change among youngsters as they move into adolescence. These findings may be relevant to the design of policies and intervention programmes aimed at promoting PA in teenagers.
PMCID: PMC3501818  PMID: 22464063
Motor activity; Exercise; Sports; Adolescent; Cohort studies
25.  Bidirectional cross-sectional and prospective associations between physical activity and body composition in adolescence: Birth cohort study 
Journal of Sports Sciences  2011;30(2):185-192.
The aim of this study was to investigate the cross-sectional and prospective associations between physical activity and body composition in adolescence. This is a prospective study, including 4,103 adolescents belonging to the Pelotas (Brazil) 1993 birth cohort, who were followed up at the mean ages of 11.3 and 14.7 years. Subsample analyses included 511 individuals with accelerometry and deuterium dilution data at 13.3 years. Sum of skinfolds at age 11.3 years was highly correlated with skinfolds at age 14.7 years (rho = 0.74, P < 0.001). More than 85% of participants remained in the same quintile or changed by not more than one quintile during the 3.4 year period. Tracking of physical activity was considerably lower, although still significant; the correlation was 0.24 (P < 0.001) and 61.4% of the adolescents moved one or less quintiles. In fully-adjusted models, no significant cross-sectional or longitudinal associations were found between physical activity and body composition, neither in boys nor in girls. These null results were confirmed in the 511 individuals with accelerometry and deuterium data. We provide evidence of tracking of physical activity and particularly body composition during adolescence. Our results do not support the hypothesis that physical activity and fatness are strongly related in adolescents.
PMCID: PMC3413903  PMID: 22141438
motor activity; fatness; epidemiology; adolescence

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