The purpose of this study was to compare the prevalence of overweight and obesity in typically developing (TD) children, children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and balance problems (DCD-BP), and children with DCD without balance problems (DCD-NBP). Two thousand and fifty-seven children (1095 boys, 962 girls) ages 9-12 years were recruited from 18 elementary schools in Taiwan. The Movement Assessment Battery for Children was used to assess motor coordination ability. International cut-off points for body mass index were used to classify participants into the following groups: normal-weight, overweight or obese. Compared with TD children, children in the DCD-BP group were more than twice as likely to be obese (OR=2.28; 95% CI=1.41-3.68). DCD-BP children were also more likely to be obese compared to DCD-NBP children (OR=1.79; 95% CI=1.02-3.16). Boys in the DCD-BP group were more likely to be obese when compared to DCD-BP girls (OR=3.12; 95% CI=1.28-7.57). Similarly, DCD-NBP boys were more likely to be obese when compared to DCD-NBP girls (OR=2.67; 95% CI=1.21-5.89). Children with both DCD and BP were significantly more likely to be obese when compared to TD and DCD-NBP children. From an intervention perspective, the inclusion of regular physical activity, including activities that encourage development of both balance and energy expenditure, may be required to prevent obesity in this population.
Keywords: Balance; Children; Developmental coordination disorder; Obesity; Taiwan.
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