Participation in Physical Activity Among Normal- And Overweight Hispanic and non-Hispanic White Adolescents

J Sch Health. 2008 Jan;78(1):19-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2007.00261.x.


Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the relation between weight status and participation in physical activity (PA) among Hispanic and non-Hispanic white (NHW) adolescent boys and girls.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, height and weight were measured and a modified 2001 Youth Risk Behavior Survey was administered to 1,302 Hispanic and NHW adolescents, aged 14-17 years, attending high school in Nueces County, Texas. Linear regression analysis was used to assess the relation between weight status (normal weight or "at risk for overweight and overweight" [AR&O]) and PA, including moderate PA, vigorous PA, strength training, participation in team sports, and TV viewing, according to gender and ethnicity.

Results: Thirty-eight percent of adolescents were AR&O, including 32% and 48% of Hispanic girls and boys, respectively, and 22% and 35% of NHW girls and boys, respectively. As expected, boys reported participating in more PAs than girls. Compared with NHW girls, both normal weight and AR&O Hispanic girls reported significantly fewer bouts of moderate activity, less involvement in team sports, and more time watching TV. Normal weight boys reported participating in significantly more vigorous activity than those who were AR&O. Hispanic boys reported more strength training than NHWs; however, they watched significantly more hours of TV than NHW boys.

Conclusions: Hispanic and NHW high school students reported participation in different PAs; this information may be useful for planning health and physical education curriculum.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior / ethnology
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Risk-Taking