Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Medicine and BioMed Central.

Journal App

google play app store
Open Access Commentary

Insights into physical activity and cardiovascular disease risk in young children: IDEFICS study

Robert G McMurray

Author Affiliations

Fetzer Hall, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

BMC Medicine 2013, 11:173  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-173

Published: 30 July 2013


The association between physical activity and cardiovascular disease risk factors in children has been the focus of research for over two decades. The majority of this research has focused on children over 10 years of age with little information on very young children. The data recently published in BMC Medicine by Jiménez-Pavón and colleagues suggest that adverse cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk profiles, as indicated by a clustered risk score for the metabolic syndrome, are evident in very young children (two to six years of age), but differ between the sexes. The authors evaluated the relationship of CVD risk profiles and protective levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and concluded that boys aged six years or younger needed >60 minutes of MVPA per day, whereas boys from six to nine years of age needed >80 minutes of MVPA per day; girls in either age group needed approximately 15 minutes less. Therefore, when clinicians recommend physical activity for children they should evaluate “at risk” children on a case-by-case basis rather than using generalized guidelines.

Please see related research: webcite.

Blood pressure; Lipids; Glucose intolerance; Body fat; Accelerometry; Cardiometabolic risk factors