Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT AND PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Underserved minority children are not meeting the US public health recommendation for moderate-vigorous physical activity

Authors
item Wong, William -
item Ortiz, Christina -
item Lathan, Debra -
item Moore, Louis -
item Konzelmann, Karen -
item Adolph, Anne -
item Smith, O'Brian -
item Butte, Nancy -

Submitted to: Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 22, 2012
Publication Date: May 25, 2012
Citation: Wong, W.W., Ortiz, C.L., Lathan, D., Moore, L.A., Konzelmann, K.L., Adolph, A.L., Smith, O., Butte, N.F. 2012. Underserved minority children are not meeting the US public health recommendation for moderate-vigorous physical activity. Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy. 2(4):132.

Interpretive Summary: Minority children are known to have higher risk of childhood obesity. The increased risk is partially linked to the lack of physical activity. In view of the large number of American children being overweight or obese, most governmental agencies recommended that all children should spend at least 60 minutes per day on activities that would make their hearts beat fast. In our Healthy Kid-Houston program, 483 minority children aged 10.3 years wore an activity monitor on their waists for seven days. The results showed that these children spent only 45 minutes per day on physical activities that would make their hearts beat fast. Among the 483 children, only 23% met the recommendation. Time spent on physical activities that would make their hearts beat fast decreased with age, lower among girls, lower among obese children, and lower during weekdays. To combat obesity among minority children, more effort is needed to improve the environment to promote an active lifestyle in the underserved minority communities.

Technical Abstract: In the US childhood obesity is more prevalent among underserved minority children. It is recommended that children should spend a minimum of 60 min/d in moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in order to maintain a healthy body weight. We measured the amount of MVPA based on a minimum of 5 consecutive days of Actical measurements in 483 underserved minority children (10.3 +/- 1.0 y (range 9-12 y); 51.1% male; 31.1% Black/68.9% Hispanic; 66% overweight or obese) who took part in our community childhood obesity intervention program (Healthy Kids-Houston). The majority of children (93.2%) were from low-income families. The minority children spent only 45 minutes per day on MVPA and only 23% were meeting the MVPA recommendation. Time spent on MVPA decreased with age (-6.8 +/- 1.1 min/d (mean +/- SE), P<0.01), with boys spending more time (+12.5 +/- 1.1min/d, P<0.001) in MVPA than girls. Obese children spent significantly less time (32.1 +/- 1.1 min/d) on MVPA than normal weight children (42.2 +/- 1.1 min/d, P<0.001) and overweight children (39.7 +/- 1.1 min/d, P<0.01). The amount of time spent on MVPA was not significantly different between normal-weight and overweight children (P=0.43). Race (P=0.12) and SES (P=0.39) had no effect on MVPA. Children spent more time on MVPA (+14.5 +/- 1.0 min/d, P<0.001) during weekdays than weekend days. Underserved minority children living in a large metropolitan city are not meeting the MVPA recommendation regardless of weight status. To combat childhood obesity, public and private resources should be utilized and the environment improved to promote MVPA in underserved minority communities.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page