Associations Between Physical Activity and Overweight Among U.S. Youth by Immigrant Generation: Results From the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

This study examines relations between parent and youth physical activity (PA; days per week), sports participation, and overweight (BMI ≥ 85th percentile) among U.S. youth, and whether this relationship varies by immigrant generation and sex.

Methods:

Participants included 28,691 youth ages 10–17 years from the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health. Youth were grouped into first, second, and third or higher generation. Primary analyses include Chi-square and post hoc tests to assess mean differences, and adjusted logistic regressions to test associations between weight status and independent variables.

Results:

Each additional day youth participated in PA decreased their odds of overweight (OW) by 10% [OR: 0.90 (0.87–0.94)]; participation in sports significantly reduced their odds of OW by 17% [OR: 0.83 (0.71–0.98)]. First generation boys who participated in sports had 70% lower odds of OW [OR: 0.30 (0.11–0.83)] compared with first generation boys who did not participate in sports. For third generation girls, participation in sports reduced the odds of OW by 23% [OR: 0.77 (0.62–0.96)] compared with those who did not participate in sports.

Conclusion:

The protective influence of PA on youth’s risk of OW varies by immigrant generation and sex. Parent PA was not related to youth’s risk of OW.

Taverno Ross is with the Dept of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (post-doctoral researcher). Francis is with the Dept of Biobehavioral Health, Penn State University, University Park, PA. BeLue is with the Dept of Health Policy and Administration, Penn State University, University Park, PA. Viruell-Fuentes is with the Dept of Latina and Latino Studies Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Journal of Physical Activity and Health