Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to investigate the role of in-school physical activity on body mass index (BMI) percentile among children ages 11-18.
Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to examine the effects of school lunch on body mass index (BMI) percentile among middle and high school aged children.
Methods: A cross-sectional sample of 1,306 children was drawn from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) Child Development Supplement (CDS), 2007. Multinomial logistic regression was used to assess the associations between the independent variable, physical activity, and the dependent variable, BMI percentile.
Results: After adjusting for covariates, children who had no physical activity during PE were much more likely to be obese than normal weight in comparison to those who met the national requirements (OR = 1.58, CI = 1.14, 2.20). The findings from this study also illustrate the importance of school-based nutrition when evaluating BMI percentile for adolescents. Children who ate lunch offered by the school, regardless of funding source, were much more likely to be obese than normal weight.
Conclusion: This study suggests that meeting national guidelines for PE-related physical activity may be effective in preventing obesity, while school lunch, regardless of funding source, may contribute to obesity.