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Researcher profiles:

Tracking three year-olds for four years

The FLAME (Family, Lifestyle, Activity, Movement and Eating) study was a four-year longitudinal cohort observational study designed to examine factors in early childhood which may contribute to the development of overweight and obesity.

242 Dunedin families were enrolled when their child was 3 years of age, and followed semi-annually until the children were seven.

Measuring sleep and activity objectively

One of the major features of FLAME which remains novel in the literature to date, is our use of repeated 24-hour accelerometry to provide an objective measure of both sleep and physical activity in young children. This has allowed us to produce multiple publications investigating how sleep, physical activity and body composition are related in the early years.


Taylor, R.W., Williams, S.M., Farmer, V.L.,  & Taylor, B.J. (2013) Changes in physical activity over time in young children: a longitudinal study using accelerometers.Plos One, 2013.    DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081567

Williams, S.M., Taylor, R.W., & Taylor, B.J. (2012) Secular changes in BMI and the associations between risk factors and BMI in children born 29 years apart. Pediatric Obesity 2012;Early Online: 21 SEP 2012 DOI: 10.1111/j.2047-6310.2012.00081.x.

Carter, P.J., Taylor, B.J., Williams, S.M., & Taylor, R.W. (2011). A longitudinal analysis of sleep in relation to BMI and body fat in children: the FLAME study. BMJ 342:d2717. Impact factor 13.5

Taylor, R.W., Williams, S.M., Carter, P.J., Goulding, A., Gerrard, D.F., & Taylor B.J. (2011). Changes in fat mass and fat-free mass during the adiposity rebound: the FLAME study.Int J Pediatr Obes, Early online: 1-9. Impact factor 4.0

Taylor, R.W., Murdoch, L., Carter, P., Gerrard, D.F., Williams, S.M., & Taylor B.J. (2009). Longitudinal study of physical activity and inactivity in preschoolers: FLAME study.Med Sci Sports Exerc 41, 96-102. Impact factor 3.4

Goulding, A., Taylor, R.W., Grant, A.M., Jones, S., Taylor,  B.J. & Williams, S.M.  (2009). Relationships of appendicular LMI and total body LMI to bone mass and physical activity levels in a birth cohort of New Zealand five-year olds. Bone 45(3), 455-459. Impact factor 4.1

Taylor, R.W., Williams, S.M., Grant, A.M., Ferguson, E., Taylor, B.J., & Goulding, A. (2008). Waist circumference as a measure of trunk fat mass in children aged 3 to 5 years.Int J Pediatr Obes 3, 226-233. Impact factor 4.0

Goulding, A., Taylor, R.W., Grant, A.M., Murdoch, L., Williams, S.M., & Taylor, B.J. (2008). Relationship of total body fat mass to bone area in New Zealand five-year-olds. Calcif Tissue Int 82(4), 293-9. Impact factor 2.7

Miller, J., Grant, A.M., Drummond, B.F., Williams, S.M., Taylor, R.W., & Goulding, A. (2007). DXA measurements confirm parental perceptions of elevated adiposity in young children are poor.Obesity 15,165-171. Impact factor 2.8

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