Shared risk factors of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) between parents at risk and their children, such as low physical activity levels, should be addressed to prevent the development of the disease. The aim of this study was to determine the association of objectively measured step counts per day between parents at risk of developing T2DM and their 6- to 10-year-old children.
The baseline data from the Feel4Diabetes study were analyzed. Dyads of children and one parent (n = 250, 54.4% girls and 77.6% mothers) from Belgium were included. Step counts per day during 5 consecutive days from parents and their children were objectively measured with ActiGraph accelerometers.
Adjusted linear regression models indicated that parents’ and children’s step counts were significantly associated during all days (β = 0.245), weekdays (β = 0.205), and weekend days (β = 0.316) (P ≤ .002 in all cases). Specifically, mother-daughter associations during all days and weekend days and father-son step counts during weekdays and when considering all days were significant.
There is a positive association between step counts from adults at risk of developing T2DM and their children, especially in the mother-daughter and father-son dyads.