Health behaviours associated with healthy body composition among Aboriginal adolescents in Australia in the ‘Next Generation: Youth Well-being study’

Christopher D. McKay*, Lina Gubhaju, Alison J. Gibberd, Bridgette J. McNamara, Rona Macniven, Grace Joshy, Robert Roseby, Robyn Williams, Aryati Yashadhana, Ted Fields, Bobby Porykali, Peter Azzopardi, Emily Banks, Sandra J. Eades

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Abstract

    This study described the distribution of healthy body composition among Aboriginal adolescents in Australia aged 10–24 years and examined associations with health behaviours and self-rated health. Data were cross-sectional from the ‘Next Generation: Youth Well-being study’ baseline (N = 1294). We used robust Poisson regression to quantify associations of self-reported health behaviours (physical activity, screen time, sleep, consumption of vegetables, fruit, soft drinks and fast food, and tobacco smoking and alcohol) and self-rated health to healthy body mass index (BMI) and waist/height ratio (WHtR). Overall, 48% of participants had healthy BMI and 64% healthy WHtR, with healthy body composition more common among younger adolescents. Higher physical activity was associated with healthy body composition (5–7 days last week vs none; adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) healthy BMI 1.31 [95% CI 1.05–1.64], and healthy WHtR 1.30 [1.10–1.54]), as was recommended sleep duration (vs not; aPR healthy BMI 1.56 [1.19–2.05], and healthy WHtR 1.37 [1.13–1.67]). There was a trend for higher proportion of healthy body composition with more frequent fast food consumption. Healthy body composition was also associated with higher self-rated health (‘very good/excellent’ vs ‘poor/fair’; aPR healthy BMI 1.87 [1.45–2.42], and healthy WHtR 1.71 [1.40–2.10]). Culturally appropriate community health interventions with a focus on physical activity and sleep may hold promise for improving body composition among Aboriginal adolescents.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number107715
    JournalPreventive Medicine
    Volume175
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

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