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James F. Sallis, Thomas L. McKenzie, John P. Elder, Patricia L. Hoy, Todd Galati, Charles C. Berry, Michelle M. Zive and Philip R. Nader

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.