Health-Related Characteristics by BMI Category, at Fifth Grade

BMI Category at Fifth GradeChild Characteristics at Fifth Grade
Body Image DiscrepancyaFast-Food and Soda ConsumptionbMean Exercisec Days Past Week (SD), dMean TVd h/wk (SD), d
Much Heavier Than IdealSomewhat Heavier Than IdealSame as IdealThinner Than IdealNoneModerateHigh
All Fifth-Graders5295015751433.8 (2.0)22 (10)
Underweight153955956353.4 (1.8)18 (8)
Normal2126225752413.9 (2.0)21 (10)
Overweight242515650443.8 (2.0)22 (10)
Obese1555273*748443.8 (2.0)24 (10)*
  • All data are presented as percentages unless otherwise indicated. All characteristics except for BMI were reported by the child. Complete data were available except for child BMI (reliable height and weight were unavailable at fifth and/or tenth grade for 487 students). * P < .001 for association, from ordinal logistic or linear regression of BMI category on health characteristics.

  • a Children were shown pictures of 7 bodies ranging from thin to heavy and were asked to identify which picture looked most like them and which picture “a boy (girl) your age should look like.” “Much heavier” represents those whose self-image was at least 2 levels heavier than the ideal image, “somewhat heavier” represents those whose self-image was 1 level heavier than ideal, and “thinner” represents those whose self-image was thinner than ideal.

  • b “High” consumption indicates children in the top quartile for frequency of fast-food and soda consumption (ie, for either the number of days in the past 7 days or the number of times per day).

  • c Children were asked the number of days in the past 7 days on which they exercised or took part in physical activity that made their heart beat fast or made them breathe hard for ≥20 min. Examples of activities listed with the item include basketball, soccer, running, swimming laps, fast dancing, or similar aerobic activities.

  • d Derived from categorical responses to items eliciting TV viewing duration during 5 different times of the week (weekdays after school before 7 PM, Monday through Thursday after 7 PM, Friday after 7 PM, Saturday, and Sunday). Hours were estimated as 1 hour more than the minimum for the highest category and as the midpoint of all other categories. Sensitivity analyses estimating hours as the minimum or maximum of each category yielded similar results.