Identifying disparities in physical activity and body mass index in an understudied group of adolescents

Combs, Jan M.
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Purpose: The objectives of this study were to provide descriptive data on body mass index (BMI) and pedometer-determined physical activity in a sample of Pacific Islander (PI) adolescents. Methods: A multiethnic sample of adolescents, a total of 171 (78 boys and 93 girls), in grades seven and eight, wore sealed pedometers for 6-8 weekdays. The ethnic composition of the sample was 64% PI (Native Hawaiian, Part Native Hawaiian, and Samoan) and 36% Non-Pacific Islander (Filipino, Black, Japanese, Portuguese, White, American Indian, Hispanic, Chinese, Indo-Chinese, and other). BMI was determined from height and weight. Participants were classified as normal, at-risk, or overweight using CDC BMI-for- age growth charts to obtain percentile ranking. Greater than or equal to the 95th percentile of BMI for each age and sex group was used to classify overweight participants. Results: The total sample (N= 171) accumulated 10,663 ± 4,200 steps/day. Boys (12,360 ± 4,271) accumulated approximately 3,000 more steps/day than girls (9,241 ± 3,583) (p=.001) and 8th grade (11,623 ±4,280) accumulated approximately 1,800 more steps/day than 7th grade (9,800 ±3,953) (p=.01). PI (IO,649±4,377) and Non-PI (IO,689±3,89S) accumulated similar steps/day. No significant differences were found on BMI between sex and grades. There were also no significant ethnic differences in BMI, however, 33.4% of the PI adolescents were classified as overweight compared to 23% of the Non-PI adolescents. Conclusion: Boys and girls were less active than U.S. counterparts, with the exception of 8th grade boys. The overweight prevalence among PI adolescents (33%) was more than double the national average (15%). Clearly, interventions are needed to reduce the prevalence of overweight in this population.
Thesis (M.S.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2006.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 15-16).
vii, 20 leaves, bound ill. 29 cm
Hawaiian teenagers -- Health and hygiene -- Hawaii -- Oahu, Samoan teenagers -- Health and hygiene -- Hawaii -- Oahu
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