The Sport, Physical activity and Eating behaviour, Environmental Determinants in Young People (SPEEDY) study aimed to examine change in physical activity and dietary behaviour and their determinants in children aged between 9 and 10 years in Norfolk, and how this changes when they move into secondary school. It is a population-based prospective cohort study.
The SPEEDY cohort consisted of 2064 Year 5 children (9 – 10 years old) recruited from 92 primary schools across the county of Norfolk, UK in 2007. Baseline measures included accelerometer-assessed and self-reported activity, 4-day food diary, anthropometry (height, weight, waist circumference, impedance), questionnaires on determinants for children, schools, and parents, school audit, and objective environmental assessment with Geographical Information Systems (GIS).
A 1-year follow up (SPEEDY-2) was completed in 2008 using a postal survey design; 1019 children took part, wearing an Actigraph accelerometer for 7 days and completing a questionnaire on determinants of physical activity and sedentary behaviour. Four-year follow up (SPEEDY-3) was completed in 2011; measurements were conducted in secondary schools and 490 participants consented. All baseline measures were repeated; additional measures included GPS monitoring, blood pressure, and assessment of social networks.
Over the summer term of 2007, we recruited over 2,000 children from around 90 schools across Norfolk. Physical activity was measured using questionnaires and accelerometers (Actigraph). Food diaries and food frequency questionnaires were then used to measure dietary habits. Children, parents and head teachers completed detailed questionnaires assessing potential determinants of these health behaviours and the children’s height and weight were also measured. We have followed up the children when they were in Year 6 (SPEEDY-2), and after they had moved to secondary school and were in Year 9 (SPEEDY-3).
The SPEEDY study is a collaborative study with Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.
The evidence gained from SPEED is helping to identify specific factors which are associated with diet and physical activity, and being used to help design interventions and policies that promote increased physical activity and healthy eating in children.