Population Monitoring

Understanding the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC)

Monitor and analyse TV news coverage of physical activity

Sugary drink consumption survey and validation study in young adults

Nutrition intake in preschool aged children - a validation study

Schools Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey (SPANS), 2004

Monitor and analyse TV news coverage on overweight and obesity

Understanding the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC)

This report provides a description of the LSAC data modules that may be of interest to those involved in health promotion programs in early childhood settings in NSW. It provides information on NSW children's general health, childcare arrangements and small screen recreation. The document also provides guidance as to where to find this information amongst the LSAC data files that are available to users.

Monitor and analyse TV news coverage of physical activity

Investigators: Catriona Bonfiglioli, Ben Smith, Lesley King

News media influence people's attitudes and behaviours, yet little attention has been paid to news media contributors to the social environment and physical activity. This project analysed news media coverage of physical activity topics over a six month period in 2005.

Sugary drink consumption survey and validation study in young adults

Investigators: Margaret Allman-Farinelli, Vicki Flood, Libby Hattersley, Louise Hardy, Melissa Irwin

This study aimed to determine levels and patterns of sugary drink consumption among University of Sydney undergraduate students using beverage records, and to examine the validity and reliability of a 24 hour beverage recall tool in measuring beverage consumption in young adults.

Nutrition intake in preschool aged children - a validation study

Investigators: Vicki Flood, Kristy McGregor, Louise Hardy, Elissa Rao

Good nutrition is vital for growth and development and good health throughout the lifespan. It is of special interest in preschool aged children, 2 to 4 years of age, because many eating habits become established at this young age.

This project aimed to accurately measure nutrition intake in children aged 2 to 4 years in order to validate a shorter nutrition survey tool which can be used in population surveys.

Schools Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey (SPANS), 2004

Investigators: Michael Booth, Tony Okely, Elizabeth Denney-Wilson, Louise Hardy, Tim Dobbins, Baohui Yang

Contact:

SPANS was a representative population survey of 5,400 NSW school students in Years K, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10, conducted in the first half of 2004. The research team collected data from 45 primary and 45 secondary schools, across government, non-government and independent sectors, and from urban and rural areas participated.

Height, weight and waist girth were measured among all students. Fundamental movement skill proficiency was assessed among Year 2 and older students and cardio-respiratory fitness was also assessed among Year 4 and older students. Year 6, 8 and 10 students completed comprehensive self-report questionnaires, providing information on: participation in organised and non-organised physical activity; modes of travel to and from school; the time usually spent in sedentary behaviours; and, food habits and eating behaviours.

Four sub-studies were also conducted. The Physical Activity Sub-study was used to identify secular trends in physical activity participation over the last 20 years (1985–2004). The Biomarker Sub-study involved the collection of blood samples and the measurement of blood pressure among almost 500 Year 10 students. The School Environment Sub-study involved administering a questionnaire to school staff regarding the characteristics of the school environment, equipment, policies, practices, barriers and supports relevant to student participation in physical activity. The School Canteen Sub-study involved administration of a questionnaire which assessed what was sold in school canteens and vending machines, school policies and procedures, and the factors that helped or hindered canteens from offering more-healthy choices. Finally, the Response Bias Study used an innovative approach to determine if overweight students were more likely to exclude themselves from the survey, potentially leading to an underestimate of the proportion of young people who were overweight or obese.

Publications:

Three reports have been prepared:

  • SPANS Short Report: An easy-to-read version, mainly for teachers, parents and young people
  • SPANS Summary Report: A snapshot of the results, mainly for policy makers and professionals who work in the field
  • SPANS Full Report: A full technical report aimed at academics and researchers

Journal publications:
Booth, M.L., Denney-Wilson, E., Okely, A.D., and Hardy, L.L. Methods of the NSW Schools Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey (SPANS). J Sci Med Sport 2005, 8(3): 284-293

Hardy LL, Dobbins T, Booth ML, Denney-Wilson EA & Okely AD Sedentary behaviour among Australian adolescents Aust NZ J Public Health 2006, 30(6): 534-540.

Hardy, L.L., Dobbins, T.A., Denney-Wilson, E.A., Okely, A.D & Booth, M.L. Descriptive epidemiology of small screen recreation among Australian adolescents J Paediatr Child Health 2006, 42(11):709-14

Booth, M.L., Dobbins, T., Denney-Wilson, E., Hardy, L.L., & Okely, A.D. Trends in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among Australian children and adolescents 1985-1997-2004. Obesity, 2007, 15(5):1089-1095.

Hardy L, Booth M, Okely A. The reliability of the Adolescent Sedentary Activity Questionnaire (ASAQ). Preventive Medicine, 2007,45(1):71-74.

Okely AD, Booth ML, Hardy L, Dobbins T, Denney-Wilson E. Changes in physical activity participation from 1985 to 2004 in a statewide survey of Australian adolescents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2008, 162(2): 176-180.

Hardy LL, Okely AD, Dobbins TA, Booth ML. Physical activity among adolescents in New South Wales (Australia): 1997 to 2004. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2008, 40(5):835-841.

Denney-Wilson E, Hardy LL, Dobbins T, Okely AD, Baur LA. Body Mass Index, waist circumference, and chronic disease risk factors in Australian adolescents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2008, 162 (6):566-573.

Monitor and analyse TV news coverage on overweight and obesity

News media influence people's attitudes and behaviours, yet little attention has been paid to news media's contributors to the obesogenic environment or how news media analysis can inform interventions. This project analysed news media coverage of overweight and obesity topics over a six month period in 2005.

Investigator: Catriona Bonfiglioli, Ben Smith, Lesley King

This study was presented as an oral presentation (OP123) at the International Congress of Obesity, in Sydney, September 2006: Choice and voice: Obesity debates in Australian television news

Publication:
Bonfiglioli C, Smith B, King L. Choice and voice: obesity debates in television news. Med J Aust 2007; 187(8):442-445.