Purpose: Describe physical activity energy expenditure, body composition, and nutritional intake in adolescents with cerebral palsy (CP) in the context of health recommendations.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study of 12 adolescents, aged 12–19 years, with CP, classified as Gross Motor Function Classification System levels II–V. Actiheart® accelerometry assessed daily physical activity energy expenditure; Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) and skinfold assessment measured percentage body fat; the Modified Nutrition Questionnaire for children aged 12–18 years assessed nutritional intake.
Results: These adolescents spent per day a median of 413.3 min in sedentary (range: 90.0–621.9), 206.2 min in light activity (range: 48.4–509.5), and 65.5 min in moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) (range: 9.4–363.9). Sixty-four percent of the participants met guidelines for time spent in MVPA, only one participant (9%) met the target for sedentary behaviour, and one (9%) participant reached all of the nutritional targets. Participants had a median percentage body fat of 43% by DXA and 40.3% by skinfold assessment. Seventy-three percent of the participants were classed as having a potentially unhealthy body composition according to percentage body fat.
Conclusions: Adolescents with CP may have a high percentage body fat, and high levels of both sedentary activity and moderate-vigorous physical activity.