The purpose of this study was to descriptively compare the physical activity and dietary intake of public school (PSC) versus home schooled children (HSC). Potential parental and home influences were also examined. Thirty six matched pairs of public school-home school children aged 7–11 years participated in this study. Each participant wore an activity monitor and recorded their dietary intake concurrently for seven consecutive days. PSC had significantly more total and weekday steps, and spent more time in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity compared with HSC. There were no differences in dietary intake between the two groups. These results suggest differences in physical activity between PSC and HSC and encourage further study of public and home school environments, in relation to the obesity epidemic.
Long, Abel, and Clasey are with the Dept. of Kinesiology and Health Promotion, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. Gaetke and Perry are with the Dept. of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.