This study prospectively investigates associations between youth moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) and body composition in young adult women using data from the Dietary Intervention Study in Children (DISC) and the DISC06 Follow-Up Study. MVPA was assessed by questionnaire on 5 occasions between the ages 8 and 18 years and at age 25-29 years in 215 DISC female participants. Using whole body dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), overall adiposity and body fat distribution were assessed at age 25-29 years by percent body fat (%fat) and android-to-gynoid (A:G) fat ratio, respectively. Linear mixed effects models and generalized linear latent and mixed models were used to assess associations of youth MVPA with both outcomes. Young adult MVPA, adjusted for other young adult characteristics, was significantly inversely associated with young adult %fat (%fat decreased from 37.4% in the lowest MVPA quartile to 32.8% in the highest (p-trend = 0.02)). Adjusted for youth and young adult characteristics including young adult MVPA, youth MVPA also was significantly inversely associated with young adult %fat (β=-0.40 per 10 MET-hrs/wk, p = .02). No significant associations between MVPA and A:G fat ratio were observed. Results suggest that youth and young adult MVPA are important independent predictors of adiposity in young women.
- Body fat distribution