What is the problem?
Habits developed in childhood and adolescence can carry on into adulthood and increase risk for chronic disease. We needed to know more about adolescents’ behaviour around diet and physical activity, and how these change over time.
What did we do?
We used a mobile phone app to collect data on specific health behaviours in 1,298 adolescents aged 13–19 years in Western Sydney.
What did we find?
Very few young people are getting enough exercise, fruits and vegetables. Most young people are sitting for long periods and exceeding screen time guidelines. Healthy habits decreased as adolescents got older. Spending more time on screen and having a high body weight was associated with less healthy eating and less physical activity. Young people with higher wellbeing and social connectedness also had healthier eating and physical activity behaviours.