This study investigated correlations among physical fitness, dietary intakes, activity levels, and body mass index (BMI) for 155 urban Native American youth, ages 5 to 18 years. Heights, weights, skinfold measurements, activity level, balance times, and dietary intakes were assessed. Presidential Physical Fitness (PPF) testing was completed with 82 youth. Age groups were examined for differences in energy and macronutrient intake, sedentary activities, activity level, and PPF achievement. Pearson and Spearman ρ correlations were examined among dietary intakes, fitness, balance, and activity levels. The majority of youth (63%) were at risk for overweight or already overweight, and 59% were sedentary. BMI was correlated with age and PPF achievement for all youth, and with physical activity and frequency of television viewing for youth ages 9 to 18 years. No correlation was found between dietary intake and activity level. Culturally appropriate interventions for obesity should start early, focusing on decreasing sedentary activity and increasing opportunities for fitness.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was funded by the University of Minnesota’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and Agricultural Experiment Station, and the United Way.