Framingham Children's Study - Food and Exercise Habits in Framingham Study Descendents
To identify early childhood determinants of eating and exercise behaviors that relate to cardiovascular disease.
|Study Design:||Observational Model: Natural History|
|Study Start Date:||September 1985|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||April 2001|
While dietary and physical activity habits are known to relate to cardiovascular risk, in 1985 little data were available on factors that influence the development of such behaviors early in life. In 1987, 106 families with 3 to 5 year old children were recruited to take part in the Framingham Children's Study. The children and their parents are direct descendents (4th and 3rd generation, respectively) of participants in the Framingham Heart Study. During the initial grant period, the feasibility of collecting relevant data has been demonstrated. Maintenance of the cohort and acceptance of the monitoring procedures have been excellent, due partly to the fact that the families consider themselves a part of the Framingham Heart Study and take pride in long-term compliance with study procedures.
The investigators have been following 100 families who are 3rd and 4th generation descendants of the original Framingham Heart Study cohort. The subjects were age 3-5 years at the onset of the study and were ages 11-14 years in 1996. There has been excellent cohort maintenance with over 90 percent of the original families continuing to participate. The study was renewed in FY 1996 to extend the Framingham Children's Study (FCS) to permit the evaluation of the determinants of change in the child's risk behaviors and other risk factors from early childhood through puberty to mid to late teens, a time when the individual's risk profile should better reflect his/her cardiovascular risk status as an adult.
The FCS is a longitudinal source of data on diet, activity and family and environmental factors in children. By 1996, the investigators had collected extensive dietary data with an average of 32 days of diet records and almost 50 days of electronically monitored physical activity data for each subject. Additional data included psychosocial and anthropometric data on children and their parents. The extension of the FCS allows continued monitoring of eating behaviors and physical activity habits of the children and their parents, as well as the personal environmental and behavioral factors influencing changes in the child's physical activity, diet, blood pressure, lipids and obesity from pre-school into the late teen years.