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Diet and Physical Activity in African-American Girls: Seasonal Differences

Karen W. Cullen, Yan Liu, Debbe Thompson
American Journal of Health Behavior 2017 v.41 no.2 pp. 171-178
African Americans, accelerometry, at-risk population, autumn, beverages, dairy consumption, data collection, desserts, fruit juices, girls, health behavior, income, low-income population, obesity, physical activity, risk, seasonal variation, spring, summer, winter
Objective: Diet and physical activity (PA) may vary by season. Methods: Two 24-hour dietary recalls and 7 days of accelerometry were collected from 342 8-10 year-old African-American girls between January 2013 and October 2014. Season was based on time of data collection (fall, spring, winter, summer). Seasonal differences in diet and PA were assessed. Results: Mean age was 8.9 years; 53% were low income. Girls with summer baseline data collection reported consuming significantly less 100% fruit juice than those with winter and spring data. Summer dairy consumption was significantly lower than the other 3 seasons for low-income girls. Significantly more desserts were consumed during winter than in spring or summer. Significantly more sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) were consumed during spring and summer for all girls than in the fall. Steps per day for all girls and the low-income girls were significantly lower in summer compared to the other seasons. Conclusions: Higher consumption SSBs and lower steps per day during the summer are a concern, particulary for African-American girls at high risk for obesity. Interventions to address these seasonal differences should be initiated.