Longitudinal change in physical activity and adiposity in the transition from adolescence to early adulthood: the 1993 Pelotas cohort study

Soyang Kwon*, Ana M.B. Menezes, Ulf Ekelund, Fernando C. Wehrmeister, Helen Gonçalves, Bruna Gonçalves C. da Silva, Kathleen F. Janz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In the current Physical Activity Guidelines (PAG) for moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA), abrupt transition from ≥ 60 min/day [youth PAG] to ≥ 150 min/week (≥ 22 min/day on average) [adult PAG] during emerging adulthood is poorly justified. The aim of this study was to examine body fat mass changes according to whether meeting the youth and adult PAGs in late adolescence (age 18 years) to early adulthood (age 22 years). Methods: The study sample included 2,099 participants (1,113 females) from the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) Study. At ages 18 and 22 years, MVPA was measured using wrist-worn accelerometry and fat mass was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. MVPA at age 18 was categorized into two groups: 0–59 or ≥ 60 min/day (no [N] or yes [Y] for meeting the youth recommendation, respectively). MVPA at age 22 was categorized into three groups: 0–21, 22–59, or ≥ 60 min/day (N, Y22, or Y60 for not meeting the adult recommendation, meeting the adult recommendation, or meeting the youth recommendation, respectively). The combination of these groups created six MVPA groups (N&N, N&Y22, N&Y60, Y&N, Y&Y22, and Y&Y60). Sex-specific multivariable linear regression analyses were conducted to estimate change in fat mass index (FMI) from age 18 to 22 years in the six MVPA groups. Results: Among males, compared to Y&Y60 (FMI increase = 1.2 kg/m2 [95% CI = 1.0, 1.4]), Y&Y22 and Y&N had larger FMI increases (1.9 [1.6, 2.1] and 1.9 [1.2, 2.5], respectively). Among females, Y&Y60 and Y&Y22 had an equal FMI increase (1.6 [1.4, 1.9] for both groups), while Y&N had a larger FMI increase (2.4 [1.8, 3.0]). Conclusions: These findings suggest that among those who were active in late adolescence, engaging in ≥ 22 min/day of MVPA in adulthood is associated with lower body fat gain for females, but not for males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number83
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Accelerometers
  • DXA
  • Fat mass
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity guidelines
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Longitudinal change in physical activity and adiposity in the transition from adolescence to early adulthood: the 1993 Pelotas cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this