Previous research has reported that Hispanic youth were significantly higher in skinfolds and body mass index (BMI) when contrasted to national reference data or comparison groups of white youth. The present study sought to determine the passing percentage for a sample of Hispanic youth for the BMI and the 1-mile run (OMR) using the Fitnessgram standards. The sample included 722 children, ages 7 to 14 years. The Hispanic youth’s passing percentages for the OMR compare favorably with the National Children and Youth Fitness Studies. The BMI results indicate the passing percentages are lower for the Hispanic, which is in agreement with past reports on body composition in Hispanic youth. Using the Fitnessgram standards, these data indicate the cardiovascular endurance of Hispanic youth may be similar to or better than the general population of children in the U.S. A higher rate of unhealthy body composition may be present, which would warrant targeted interventions for Hispanic children.
Karen H. Weiller, Allen W. Jackson, and Rhonda D. Meyer are with the Department of KHPR at the University of North Texas, P.O. Box 13857, Denton, TX 76203-3857.