Sex and Ethnic Differences in Children’s Physical Activity: Discrepancies between Self-Report and Objective Measures

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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Previous studies have not used both self-report and objective measures to assess sex and ethnic differences in children’s physical activity. In the present study, 187 Mexican American and Anglo American children, aged 11 to 12 years, were assessed by two 7-day physical activity recall interviews and up to 8 days of accelerometer (Caltrac) monitoring over a 6-month period. Compared to Anglo American boys, accelerometer data showed Mexican American boys, Anglo American girls, and Mexican American girls to be 95,81, and 75% as active, respectively. Activity recall data showed that, compared to Anglo American boys, Mexican American boys, Anglo American girls, and Mexican American girls were 95,95, and 90% as active, respectively. The extent of sex and ethnic differences in children’s physical activity depend on the measure used.

J.E Sallis is with the Department of Psychology at San Diego State University and the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego. T.L. McKenzie is with the Department of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at San Diego State University and the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego. J.P. Elder is with the Graduate School of Public Health at San Diego State University and the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego. P.L. Hoy and T. Galati are with the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego. C.C. Berry is with the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. M.M. Zive and P.R. Nader are with the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego.