Self-Rated Health in Children at Risk for Obesity: Associations of Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and BMI

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Self-rated health (SRH) is a common indicator of health-related quality of life; however, little is known about SRH in children. This study explored the associations of physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior (SED), and BMI with SRH in children at risk for obesity.


Participants were 527 children aged 8–10 years in the Quebec Adipose and Lifestyle Investigation in Youth study (inclusion criteria: ≥ 1 parent clinically obese). PA and SED were measured by accelerometer, specific SED behaviors by self-report, and height and weight measured.


About 40% of children were overweight or obese; 48% reported lessthan- excellent health. The odds of reporting less-than-excellent health were higher among obese girls (OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.4–5.2) and boys (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.5–6.1) versus healthy weight children. Boys not meeting PA guidelines and boys in the lowest moderate-to-vigorous PA tertile were at 2 and 6 times higher odds of less-than-excellent SRH, respectively, versus more active boys. In girls, higher computer/video time and reading time were associated with higher and lower odds of less-than-excellent SRH, respectively.


Obesity is inversely associated with SRH in boys and girls, PA is positively associated with SRH in boys, and SED behaviors are associated with SRH in girls.

Herman and Paradis are with the Dept of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Sabiston is with the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Tremblay is with the Dept of Kinesiology, Laval University, Quebec, Canada.