Use of latent class analysis as a method of assessing the physical activity level, sedentary behavior and nutritional habit in the adolescents’ lifestyle: A scoping review

PLoS One. 2021 Aug 19;16(8):e0256069. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0256069. eCollection 2021.


BACKGROUND: Currently, adolescents’ lifestyle is commonly characterized by physical inactivity, sedentary behavior, and inappropriate eating habits in general. A person-oriented approach as Latent Class Analysis (LCA) can offer more insight than a variable-centered approach when investigating lifestyle practices, habits, and behaviors of adolescent population.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to assess which variables are mostly used to represent the physical activity level, sedentary behavior SB) and nutritional habit in the adolescents’ lifestyle in studies that used the LCA.

DESIGN: Scoping review.

METHODS: The study was a performed in accordance with the proposed criteria for systematic reviews and meta-analyses-Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses and registered in PROSPERO (CRD42018108444). The original articles were searched in MEDLINE/PubMed, Scopus, ScienceDirect, Web of Science, PsycINFO, and SPORTdiscus. The Quality Assessment Tool analyzed the risk of bias of the included studies.

RESULTS: 30 original articles were selected. The physical activity level (28 studies), SB and nutritional habits (18 studies) were the most common variable used to evaluate the adolescent’s lifestyle by LCA model. Specifically, physical inactivity and high SB were the manifest variables with higher frequency in the negative latent classes (LCs) in adolescent girls. On the other hand, physical exercises and sports were activities more commonly labeled as positive LCs.

CONCLUSIONS: The LCA models of the most of selected studies showed that physical inactivity, high SB were the most common in the LCs with negative characteristics of the adolescents’ lifestyle. Better understanding the results of analyzes of clusters of multivariate behaviors such as the LCA can help to create more effective strategies that can make the lifestyle of adolescents healthier.

PMID:34411143 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0256069

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