One-Mile Run/Walk and Body Mass Index of an Ethnically Diverse Sample of Youth


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Abstract

Purpose:The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between cardiovascular fitness levels and body mass index (BMI) status among an ethnically diverse sample of youth.Methods:The cross-sectional sample consisted of California fifth, seventh, and ninth graders (10–15 yr). Data presented included a total of 767,809 youth (M = 389,925, F = 377,884) from the following ethnic groups: African American 58,491; American Indian–Alaskan Natives 8,971; Asian 63,292; Filipino 22,598; Hispanic 330,758; Pacific Islanders 7,977; and white non-Hispanics 275,722. Performance on the 1-mile run/walk (seconds, MRW), height (cm), and weight (kg) measures were taken by physical education staff in public schools across California. Comparisons of MRW were analyzed with hierarchical multiple linear regression, controlling for height and weight for each age strata for males and females, separately. Youth were classified as overweight (≥95th percentile) or at risk for overweight (≥85th percentile, < 95th percentile) based on age-sex specific BMI growth charts. White non-Hispanics served as the comparison group for each analysis.Results:Overall, significant (P < 0.01) differences were observed between white non-Hispanics and their ethnic peers for each age-sex strata for MRW. For males, MRW differences among ethnic groups minimized with increasing age, while differences in MRW increased for females with increasing age. Odds ratios calculated by logistic regression indicated that for both sexes, being Hispanic was associated with the greatest likelihood of being at risk or overweight, whereas being Asian and female was associated with a preventive effect.Conclusions:These data suggest 1) disparities in MRW exist among ethnic groups, after controlling for confounders; and 2) the variation observed in MRW is similar to those observed for physical activity.

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