Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Percentage of Kindergarten through Third-Grade Children above the FITNESSGRAM/ACTIVITYGRAM Body Mass Index Healthy Fitness Zone

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Percentage of Kindergarten through Third-Grade Children above the FITNESSGRAM/ACTIVITYGRAM Body Mass Index Healthy Fitness Zone

Article excerpt

Childhood obesity has increased to epidemic proportions during the past 20 years. The state of California mandates physical fitness assessment of all public school children in grades 5, 7 and 9, using the FITNESSGRAM/ACTMTYGRAM battery. Data for 2005 show that for the body mass index (BMI) component, 33.6% of California fifth graders score above the Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ), and this percentage remains constant from grades 5-7 (33.6-33.3%) and 7-9 (33.3-33.1%). No California body composition data exists for children in grades K-4. In an effort to track the critical origins of childhood obesity, height and weight were measured to calculate the BMI for 554 children (304 boys and 250 girls) in grades K-3 from southern California. The purposes of this study were: (a) to quantify the percent of children above the BMI HFZ for grades K, 1, 2, and 3, (b) to quantify the percentage of children above the BMI HFZ at each grade level for gender, ethnicity (White and Hispanic) and socioeconomic status (subsidized and nonsubsidized school meals; SES), and (c) to determine the greatest grade level change for gender, ethnicity and SES. Results showed that 3.3, 7.5, 12.2, and 20.8% of children in grades K, 1, 2 and 3 respectively scored above the BMI HFZ. …

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