Ickpyo Hong, Patty Coker-Bolt, Kelly R. Anderson, Danbi Lee, Craig A. Velozo; Relationship Between Physical Activity and Overweight and Obesity in Children: Findings From the 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey National Youth Fitness Survey. Am J Occup Ther 2016;70(5):7005180060. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.021212
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OBJECTIVE. This study examined the relationship between childhood obesity and overweight and functional activity and its enjoyment.
METHOD. A cross-sectional design was used to analyze data from the 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey National Youth Fitness Survey. Multivariate logistic regression models were used.
RESULTS. Data for 1,640 children ages 3–15 yr were retrieved. Physical activity was negatively associated with risk of obesity (odds ratio [OR] = 0.93; 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.87, 0.98]). Although children who were obese and overweight were more likely to have functional limitations (ORs = 1.58–1.61), their enjoyment of physical activity participation was not significantly different from that of the healthy-weight group.
CONCLUSION. Physical activity lowered the risk of obesity. Children who were obese had functional limitations compared with healthy-weight children, but both groups enjoyed physical activity equally. Future studies are needed to determine barriers to participation among these children in recreation and sporting activities.
Health care practitioners should promote the recommended level of 60 min of daily physical activity as an obesity prevention strategy.
In this study, the reported level of enjoyment in physical activity was statistically the same, regardless of weight status. Therefore, health care practitioners should consider internal and external factors that may interfere with participation in physical activity among children who are overweight or obese. These factors may include lack of access to play, recreational, or sporting activities or decreased motor skill abilities needed to successfully participate in physical activities.
The finding that overweight or obese children have the same level of enjoyment in participation as healthy-weight children shows that these children are likely to engage in physical and recreational activities if the right support is provided to deal with internal and external barriers. Health care practitioners need to examine the psychosocial, physical, and environmental factors that may be barriers to participation and provide the necessary supports to overcome such barriers.
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