Clusters of lifestyle behaviours and their associations with socio-demographic characteristics in Dutch toddlers

Anne Krijger*, Elly Steenbergen, Lieke Schiphof-Godart, Caroline van Rossum, Janneke Verkaik-Kloosterman, Liset Elstgeest, Sovianne ter Borg, Hein Raat, Koen Joosten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose: This study aimed to identify clusters of lifestyle behaviours in toddlers and assess associations with socio-demographic characteristics. Methods: We used data from the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey 2012–2016 and included 646 children aged 1–3 years. Based on 24-h dietary recalls and a questionnaire, a two-step cluster analysis was conducted to identify clusters in the intake of fruit, vegetables, sugar-sweetened beverages and unhealthy snacks, physical activity and screen time. Logistic regression models assessed associations between socio-demographic characteristics and cluster allocation. Results: Three clusters emerged from the data. The ‘relatively healthy cluster’ demonstrated a high intake of fruit and vegetables, low sugar-sweetened beverage and unhealthy snack intake and low screen time. The ‘active snacking cluster’ was characterised by high unhealthy snack intake and high physical activity, and the ‘sedentary sweet beverage cluster’ by high intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and high screen time. Children aged 1 year were most likely to be allocated to the ‘relatively healthy cluster’. Compared to children of parents with a high education level, children of parents with a low or middle education level were less likely to be in the ‘relatively healthy cluster’, but more likely to be in the ‘sedentary sweet beverage cluster’. Conclusion: Clusters of lifestyle behaviours can be distinguished already in children aged 1–3 years. To promote healthy lifestyle behaviour, efforts may focus on maintaining healthy behaviour in 1-year-olds and more on switching towards healthy behaviour in 2- and 3-year-olds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1143-1151
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was conducted as part of the larger project ‘Nutrition and lifestyle screening tool for youth healthcare 2019–2022’ and funded by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS). The funding body had no role in the design and execution of the study or in interpreting the data and writing the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


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