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The qualities of physical education teachers based upon students' perceptions of physical appearance.

The purpose of this study was to investigate students' perceptions of physical educators. The study examined the following characteristics of instructors: 1) the effect appearance had on the instructors' ability to instill exercise intentions; 2) the effect the instructor's body image had on their credibility; 3) the students' perceptions of the instructor as being knowledgeable; 4) the students' belief that the instructor was a role model; and 5) the effect of gender on students' perceptions. Participants in this study consisted of male and female seventh- and eighth-grade students in a metropolitan region in the southeastern United States (n = 805). Students completed the survey which consisted of four images with varying body types. Participants were asked questions on their perception, attitude, and behavioral intentions. The study revealed a disconnect between the physical educators appearance and their message to their students.

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One third of the children in the United States are overweight or obese (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 2008b; Ogden, Carroll & Flegal, 2008). Health care experts caution that these values are dangerously high. America's adolescents are the most obese teenagers in the world. Today's children may have a lower life expectancy than their parents because of numerous health complications brought on by obesity (Lavizzo-Mourey, 2004) leading to the first generation in more than a century to have shorter life spans than their parents (Olshansky, et al., 2005).

Body mass index (BMI) is the most widely accepted screening method for identifying overweight and obesity in children and adolescents. Obtaining the height and weight measurements needed to calculate BMI is the most widely accepted screening method for overweight and obesity because these measurements are non-invasive. The BMI correlates with the level of body fat (Mei, et al., 2002). Children and adolescents ages 2-19 years are categorized as being overweight when their BMI values are at or above the 85th percentile but lower than the 95th percentile. They are categorized as obese when their BMI values are at or above the 95th percentile (Barlow & the Expert Committee, 2007). Childhood obesity predisposes children to numerous physiological complications, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and heart attack, hypertension, dyslipidemia, impaired glucose homeostasis, sleep apnea, accelerated pubertal skeletal development, and orthopedic disorders (Freedman, Dietz, Srinivasan, & Berenson, 1999; Yanovski, 2001.)

According to Wang and Dietz (2002), obesity-related annual hospital costs among youth were estimated to have more than tripled from $35 million in 1975-1981 to $127 million in 1997-1999. Additionally, obesity-related medical spending on adults was estimated to have topped $40 billion in 1998. By 2008, those costs had increased to an estimated $147 billion dollars annually (Finkelstein, Trogdon, Cohen, & Dietz, 2009).

Levy and Petty (2008) identified the following factors suspected of contributing to childhood obesity: increased sedentary time spent watching television; playing video games; using computers, technology, and other media; regularly consuming junk food; media that markets unhealthy foods and drinks to children; schools that offer decreased recess time and school physical education; dual-career parents who are hurried, stressed, with little or no time to cook healthy meals or supervise their children's activities; living with a single parent; and parents who are not well educated about obesity and the influence of parental factors.

Lafee (2008) reported that overweight or obese children have a 70% likelihood of becoming overweight or obese adults. Having an obese parent more than doubles the risk that both obese and non-obese children will become obese adults (Salbe & Ravussin, 2000). Furthermore, when both parents are obese, the chance that their children will also be obese rises to 80% (Anspaugh, Hamrick, & Rosato, 2003).

The success of strategies for controlling and preventing further development of childhood obesity will require a strong commitment from parents, schools, communities, children, and the medical community (Levy & Petty, 2008). Ultimately, parents are the critical stakeholders in childhood obesity. Parents need to implement the following interventions to help their children achieve and maintain healthy weights: (a) provide healthy foods, (b) encourage developmentally appropriate physical activity, (c) reduce time children spend on sedentary activities, (d) monitor children's exposure to advertisements, and (e) take a proactive role in their children's life and present a positive role model. School-based childhood obesity prevention initiatives need to include a curriculum that provides developmentally appropriate physical and nutritional activities (Huettig, et al., 2006). Communities need to develop policies that support controlling childhood obesity by working with media to reduce television advertisement directed toward children and limit advertisements for high fat and sugar-dense foods and drinks to venues not likely to be viewed by children. In addition, community residents will need to become committed to developing and maintaining neighborhoods that are activity friendly (Levy & Petty, 2008).

A paradox has surfaced in public schools following an era of increased academic accountability and high-stakes testing (Winter, 2009). Many schools, juggling already tight schedules to meet increased standards, have reduced or entirely eliminated recess and the number of physical education classes in their quest to improve children's academic achievement. As a result, children now have a higher risk for obesity (Cook, 2005). While children are becoming overweight at an alarming rate, evidence points to a relationship between obesity and poor school performance (Winter, 2009). Critics have characterized schools as obesogenic environments that promote obesity through sedentary academic work, limited physical activity, and cafeterias' offering fare of low nutritional value (Davidson, 2007).

It has been reported that physical educators have the capability to nurture positive lifestyle habits among their students by setting an example in the way they interact with their students, by knowing their students, and by taking a proactive approach. Taking a proactive approach means that physical educators consistently exhibit the behaviors and appearances consistent with the lifestyle message they are responsible for teaching. Further, when the teachers' examples are contrary to the messages they are teaching, those messages are significantly undermined (Stelzer, 2005).

Facing the increase of overweight and obese children, physical educators need to restructure their physical education classes to better serve this population (Irwin, Symons,& Kerr, 2003.) These authors stated that physical educators should consider implementing the following curricular changes: (a) focus on wellness and health related components of fitness, (b) introduce lifelong fitness activities, and (c) identify and include fitness activities that will be appealing to overweight and obese children (Irwin, et al., 2003).

For years authorities in the field of physical education have stressed the importance of modeling an active lifestyle and physical fitness for professionals in all fields related to physical activity (Cardinal, 2001 ; Corbin, 1984; McCloy, 1940; Melville, 1999; Sargeant, 1900; Staffo & Stier 2000; & Wilmore, 1982). The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (1994) recommended that physical education teachers should engage in regular physical activity at a level sufficient to promote health-related physical fitness (as cited in Cardinal & Cardinal, 2001).

Although the influence of the physical education teacher as a role model may not be as influential as are parental role models, teachers are among the more important role models for children and youth (Cardinal, 2001 .) A study of sixth- through eighth-grade school children (Gilmer, Speck, Bradley, Harrell, & Belyea, 1996) reported that teachers and coaches were the most frequently citied non-family-member adult role models. According to Melville and Maddalozzo (1988), physical education teachers who model physically active lifestyles appeared to have effects on youth similar to those of their parents.

It is unlikely that students can be motivated to value fitness, an active lifestyle, and skillful performance when the message is delivered by a physical education teacher who is neither fit, active, or highly skilled (Mitchell, 2007). Also identified were the negative implications on children's future fitness when their physical educators are unfit, do not understand fundamental concepts involving their content, do not live a physically active lifestyle, and cannot perform the skills they are trying to teach (Mitchell, 2007).

This study sought to identify the relationship of students' perceptions of credible characteristics of physical educators on the motivation of seventh and eighth graders to become more physically active and lead healthier lifestyles. Examined were the following credible characteristics in physical education instructors: the effect of the physical educator's physical appearance on their ability to instill good exercise intentions in their students; the effect of a physical educator's appearance on the students' acceptance of the instructor's body image in relationship to credibility as a physical educator; he students' perceptions of the instructor as being knowledgeable of physical education; the students' belief that the instructor is an appropriate role model of health and fitness; and the effect of gender on students' perceptions of the physical educator's appearance.

Numerous physical education authorities agree that physically fit physical educators provide better role models for their students. However, little empirical evidence has been published that examines the effect of an instructor's physical appearance and apparent fitness level on motivating students to engage in healthy behaviors (Thomson, 1996). Research in this area has provided limited findings to support the contention that physically fit educators may have a greater motivational influence on their students to make personal commitments to adopting needed lifestyle changes (Bischoff, Plowman, & Lindenman, 1988). Lastly, students who hold positive perceptions of their physical educator's appearance may be more highly motivated to adopt and engage in healthy behaviors.

Literature Review

Children born in the United States today could become the first generation in more than a century to have shorter life spans than their parents if current trends of excessive weight and obesity continue (Olshansky, et al.,2005). Lavizzo-Mourey (2004) stated that America's adolescents are the most obese teenagers in the world. Lavizzo-Mourey further stated that we are raising the first generation of Americans who will develop more chronic illness and die younger than their parents. Research has shown that, currently, one in every three (31.7 %) American children between the ages of 2 to 19 years of age are overweight or obese. Health care experts caution that these values are dangerously high (Ogden, Carroll, Curtin, Lamb, & Flegal, 2010).

The BMI is used for identifying childhood overweight or obesity (Barlow & the Expert Committee, 2007). A child's BMI is calculated using a measure of weight in relation to height. The BMI is the most widely accepted method used to screen for overweight and obesity. It is relatively easy to obtain a child's height and weight to calculate BMI, as these measurements are non-invasive. The BMI correlates with body fatness (Mei, et al., 2002). To determine the BMI for age percentile in children and adolescents (ages 2-19), the body mass index value is plotted on the CDC growth charts. Table 1 provides the CDC's BMI classifications for children and adolescents.

Childhood obesity predisposes children to numerous physiologic complications, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and heart attacks, hypertension, dyslipidemia, impaired glucose homeostasis, sleep apnea, accelerated pubertal skeletal development, and orthopedic disorders (Freedman, et al., 1999; Yanovski, 2001). Marcione (2008) reported finding additional physiological complications related to childhood obesity among obese children as young as 10 years old. He found that some obese children have arterial plaque similar to that found among 45-year olds and other heart abnormalities that put them at increased risk for heart disease. A study by Luder, Melnik, and Dimaio (1998) identified an association between childhood obesity and asthma, a lung disease in which the airways become blocked or narrowed, causing breathing difficulty. Rodriguez, Winkleby, Ahn, Sundquist, and Kraemer (2002) also found a predisposition among overweight and obese children for developing asthma.

Trasande and Chatterjee (2009) estimated that excess weight during childhood adds approximately $3 billion per year in direct medical costs. Annually, obese adults incur an estimated $1,429 more in medical expenses than their normal-weight peers (Finkelstein, et al., 2009). In addition, medical spending on adults that was attributed to obesity topped approximately $40 billion in 1998 and, by 2008, increased to an estimated $147 billion (Finkelstein et al., 2009). Lavizzo-Mourey (2004) estimated that by 2020, 20% (one-fifth) of health care dollars spent treating the aging population will be used to manage obesity-related conditions. Those numbers are likely to directly and indirectly affect the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs as well as private payer budgets (Lavizzo-Mourey, 2004). Most troubling is the finding by Flegal, Graubard, Williamson, and Mitchell (2005), that obesity is estimated to cause 112,000 deaths per year in the United States. According to Levy and Petty (2008), overweight and obese children are predisposed to psychosocial challenges. The authors noted that peer acceptance is an integral part of a child's development. Dietz (1998) stated that obese children and adolescents are often targets of early and systemic social discrimination. When negative attitudes and stigmatisms are directed toward obese children and adolescents, their self-esteem is compromised. The domino effect of the psychological stress of social stigmatization often causes low self-esteem, which, in turn, hinders academic and social functioning, and persists into adulthood (Swartz & Puhl, 2003).

The reasons behind the obesity epidemic in America's youth are many. Given the pace of modern life, Americans now consume more fast food and sugar-sweetened beverages, and they frequently eat outside the home (Guthrie, Lin, & Frazao, 2002). In addition, advertisers heavily promote calorie laden foods and beverages, according to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report (Federal Trade Commission, 2008), which revealed that at least $1.6 billion dollars are spent annually to direct food advertising to children and adolescents. Wang, Bleich, and Gortmaker (2008) found that the increase in eating out along with extensive advertising has led to poor eating habits, to the extent that, currently, 13 % of the daily caloric intake for adolescents between 12 and 19 years of age now comes from sugar sweetened beverages.

The increase in screen time, including video games, television, and computers, has also been responsible for an increase in childhood obesity (Taveras, et al., 2006). When children are watching television or spending time using the computer or gaming systems they are not engaging in physical activity, such as organized sports or informal play. A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation (2010) found that adolescents now spend more than seven hours per day watching television, DVDs, movies, or using a computer or a mobile device such as a cell phone or MP3 player. Negative eating behaviors have also been associated with children while watching television, as they are more likely to snack; including eating the foods they see being advertised (Taveras, et al., 2006). Screen time has also been associated with children's sleep patterns, with those spending more waking time in front of a screen sleeping less and having poorer quality sleep (Owens, 2010) According to Anderson and Whitaker (2010), insufficient sleep has been linked to a heightened risk of obesity.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) (as cited in Geneva WHO, 2004), obesity has been identified as an international problem. Educators, public health professionals, community leaders and parents have struggled with the dilemma of how to prevent and control the epidemic. Devi (2008), identified several policy initiatives, both public and private, that recently surfaced throughout the United States. The "Shape up Somerville: Eat Smart, Play Hard" is a program aimed at children in Massachusetts.

Effective control of the growing childhood obesity epidemic in the United States is going to require a strong commitment from many agencies. According to Levy and Petty (2008),preventive strategies that successfully combat the development of childhood obesity will involve the children, the parents, the schools, the communities, and the medical community. Cooperation and coordination among all of the stakeholders is a necessary for reducing or curtailing this epidemic (Levy & Petty, 2008). The most recent national initiative to combat the overweight and obesity epidemic, "Let's Move," was introduced by the First Lady, Michelle Obama, in February 2010 (www.letsmove.gov). The Let's Move national initiative involves four main components: empowering parents and caregivers with simpler, more actionable messages about nutritional choices based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans; providing healthy food in schools; improving access to healthy, affordable food; and getting children more physically active. Parents have a strong impact upon what their children's diets and physical activity levels (Levy & Petty, 2008). Research on modeling related to physically active lifestyle carded out by Freedson & Evenson (1991) and Moore, Lombardi, White, Campbell, Oliveria, and Ellison (1991) indicated that children of physically active parents (parent models) are more likely than children of sedentary parents to be active. Other research has indicated that children who engaged in exercise activities with their parents tended to be more active than were children who do not exercise with their parents (Salllis, 1988a & 1988b). Levy and Petty (2008) offered effective strategies that parents can use to encourage their children to adopt healthy diets and include appropriate levels of exercise to achieve and maintain healthy weights.

In an era of increasing accountability and high stakes testing in schools, a serious paradox has surfaced. As schools have adopted policies to improve academics, school children started becoming overweight at an alarming rate. Mounting evidence is pointing to a relationship between childhood obesity and poor school performance (Winter, 2009). Ironically, pressure to improve children's academic achievement has led many schools to adopt certain policies, such as eliminating recess or reducing the number of physical education classes, thereby putting children at a greater risk for obesity (Cook, 2005).

Davidson (2007) reported that schools are now viewed as obeseogenic environments that promote obesity through placing students in classrooms doing sedentary work, providing limited opportunities for physical activity, and serving high-calorie food with low nutritional value in schools' cafeterias. Schools have a unique opportunity to lead the fight on obesity. Winter (2009) stated that, as hubs in the community, schools have tremendous potential to reach large numbers of children and families. Schools already influence children's eating patterns by providing one or more meals, daily.

In addition, physical education opportunities provided at school influence children's patterns of physical activity (Winter, 2009). School personnel, such as teachers and school nurses, can deliver programs designed to improve children's health-related knowledge and behaviors (Cole, Waldrop, D'Auria, & Garner, 2006; Davis, Davis, Northington, Moll & Kolar, 2002). Recent research indicated that the untapped resource of school health and physical education teachers and curricula should be an integral part of the efforts to stop the childhood obesity epidemic that has shrouded children and adolescents of the United States (Cone, 2004; Smith, Jimenez, McMahon, Thomas, Wellik, & Jensen, 2005).

School-based childhood obesity prevention initiatives need to involve embedded curriculum and developmentally appropriate physical and nutritional activities, according to Huettig, Rich, Engelbrecht, Sanborn, Essery, DiMarco, Velez, & Levy (2006). Children spend a considerable amount of time at school; therefore, educational institutions need to address, assess, and improve the nutritional value of foods served at meals and snacks. Serving healthy food and nutritious snacks and drinks at school can facilitate a healthy improvement in children's eating patterns and promote optimal growth and development during childhood (Levy & Petty, 2008). For many students, the majority of their meals are actually eaten at school. Thus, schools need to become the gatekeepers of nutritionally sound practices in the educational environment (Levy & Petty, 2008). At a time when schools are reducing the amount of time allocated for recess and physical education classes, school administrators must realize the positive role that physical activity can have on children (Cook, 2005). An effective prevention program for overweight and obese children will include developmentally appropriate activities for children (Stelzer, 2005). Regular physical activity should be consciously promoted, prioritized, and protected within schools (Levy & Petty, 2008). According to Huettig, et al. (2006), physical activity can contribute to the maintenance of normal body weight or the control of adiposity.

According to Jacobson and Kulling (1989),many physical educators and coaches, who are former athletes, have long since given up much of their earlier physical activity in favor of the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do attitude. Consequently, it is not uncommon to see physical educators and coaches who are unfit, overweight, or even obese (Jacobson & Kulling, 1989). If physical educators are going to proclaim that physical education can help reduce the obesity epidemic, then physical educators need to take seriously their duty to be a role model for fitness and, therefore, be physically fit themselves (Bell, 2008). Children and adults alike are more likely to follow a physically fit individual who advocates physical fitness and less likely to follow one who is overweight and out of shape (Bell, 2008).

Sabock (1985) stated that teachers are able to have measurable influence on students based on what they say, how they behave, the way they present teaching materials, and the role model they present. A study conducted by Melville & Maddalozzo (1988) revealed that the appearance of fatness in a physical educator has an effect on students' learning of exercise concepts. The researchers compared the results of cognitive test scores between two randomly assigned groups of high school students who viewed one of two 20-min video tapes covering flexibility and nutrition. In one videotape, a male physical educator was made to look overweight by enlarging his abdominal region. In the other videotape, the instructor's appearance was unaltered and he appeared trim and fit. After viewing their respective tapes, students' knowledge, attitudes, and behavior intentions were assessed. Results showed that students who viewed the video tape of the fit instructor scored significantly higher on a cognitive test that did the students who viewed the videotape of the overweight instructor. The students also expressed a perception that the fit looking instructor was more knowledgeable and more likeable, further stating that they were more likely to follow the exercise and dietary suggestions of that instructor (Melville & Maddalozzo, 1988).

Methodology

This study employed an experimental research design; the independent variable was students' perception of the physical educator as a role model based upon physical appearance. Prior to data collection, an Institutional Review Board for Human Use approval was submitted and approved. Participants in this study consisted of seventh- and eighth-grade students in a metropolitan region in the Southeastern United States (N = 805). Seventh- and eighth-grade students were selected because students in the seventh and eighth grades are required to take daily physical education in the state where the study took place. Male and female students ranged from ages 11 to 14 years, the typical ages for students in these grades. The selection criteria required that students be currently enrolled in physical education and have their parents' consent to participate (indicated by those who return the consent form signed by a parent or legal guardian). Students and their parents were asked to sign a consent form prior to the start of the research. The consent form was distributed to those students who are enrolled in the selected physical education classes.

Students were asked to complete the study instrument, the Student Perception Survey (available upon request). Four images were provided on the SPS for the subjects to view. The images are of individuals who would be perceived to have varying levels of body composition. The images display individuals with different body types ranging from one who appears to be physically fit to one who appears to be obese. The participants were asked to answer the questions on the student's perception, attitude, and behavioral intentions on the survey based on their perceptions of the four images. The SPS was developed by modifying constructs of an existing instrument (Dean et al., 2005; Bulik, Wade, Heath, Martin, Stunkard, & Eaves, 2001). The data were analyzed using PASW 18.0 Statistical software. A chi-square test was used to compare differences in students perceptions of whether or not individuals who teach physical education should be physically fit (question 8); a Type I error rate of 0.05 was used. In addition, a complete array of descriptive statistics were calculated for all variables.

Results

Participants in this study consisted of seventh- and eighth-grade students in a metropolitan city in the Southeastern United States (n = 805, Table 2).

Seventh- and eighth-grade students were selected because students in the seventh and eighth grades are required to take daily physical education in the state where the study took place. Male and female students ranged 11 to 14 years of age, the typical ages for students in these grades. The criterion for selection was that students had to be currently enrolled in physical education and have their parents' consent to participate.

Seven hundred and fifty-five (93.78%) of the 805 students surveyed believed that individuals who teach physical education should be physically fit. Question 8 on the survey instrument asked: Should individuals who teach physical education be physically fit? Students answered by circling either "Yes" or "No." 93.8% responded yes and 6.2% responded no (p = 0.009).

Survey question 1 asked students to indicate which of the four figures best represented their current physical education teacher. Results show that 29.1% indicated that their physical educator was either overweight (23.6%) or obese (5.5%). Survey question 4 asked which of the four figures would motivate the student to exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle? Over 84% would be motivated by an under- or normal-weight physical educator. When asked which of the four figures the student would like to have as your physical education teacher (survey question 2) almost 96% indicated that they would prefer to have an under- or normal-weight individual as their physical education teacher. Survey question 3 asked which of the four figures appear to be physically fit? To this nearly all (99.2%) of the students indicated the under- and normal-weight figures appeared to be physically fit. The students were asked (survey question 5) which of the four figures appears to lead a healthy lifestyle to which the majority (98.5%) identified the under- and normal-weight figures. To the question (survey question 6), which of the four figures appears to be knowledgeable about physical education?, the students unequivocally pointed to (98.1%) under- and normal-weight figures. When simultaneously considering responses to questions 3 (Which appear to be physically fit?), 5 (Which appear to lead a healthy lifestyle?) and 6 (Which appear to be knowledgeable about physical education?) with responses to question 1 (Which figures best represent their current physical education teacher), findings raise a credibility issue for 29.0% of the students, who indicated that their physical education teacher is either overweight or obese.

Survey question 7 asked, which of the four figures is most like your body structure? The analysis compared the students' perceived body images with actual recorded height and weight measurements after calculating the values for age percentiles for BMI. The findings indicate potential self-esteem issues. Only 62 (7.7%) of the students identified themselves with a figure that was overweight or obese. Yet, when cross-tabulating this with their actual height and weight, 265 (31.8%) of the students were actually overweight or obese.

The data also indicate a difference in self-perception between males and females. When females responded to survey question 2 (Which of four figures you like to have as their physical educator?) 49.4% preferred the underweight figures. When males were asked the same question, 36.4% selected the underweight figures. Further, when females were asked which of the figures appears to be physically fit, 63.1% selected the underweight figures whereas only 47.3% of males selected the same. When the students selected the figure type that would motivate him or her to lead a healthy lifestyle, 57.5% of the females add 43.2% of the males selected the underweight figures. 64.7% of females selected the underweight figures as leading a healthy lifestyle as compared with 51.0% of the males. Finally, when asked to identify the figure that appears to be knowledgeable about physical education, 62.0% of the females and 47.3% of males selected the underweight figures.

Discussion

Authorities in the field of physical education have stressed the importance of modeling an active lifestyle and physical fitness for professionals in all fields related to physical activity. The National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommends that physical education teachers should engage in regular physical activity at a level sufficient to promote health-related physical fitness.

Although physical education teachers may be less influential than parents as role models, teachers are among the more important role models for children and youth. Teachers and coaches are the most frequently citied non-family-member adult role models. Physical education teachers who model physically active lifestyles appear to have effects on youth similar to those of their parents.

Unfortunately, this research reveals that physical educators today are not being the credible role models that are needed, now more than ever, with one third of the children in the United States being overweight or obese. It appears as though the profession that is responsible for physically developing students may be contributing to the obesity epidemic by not providing physical educators who are credible role models for their students. It is unlikely that students can be motivated to value fitness, an active lifestyle, and skillful performance when the message is delivered by a physical education teacher who is neither fit, active, nor highly skilled. There are negative implications on children's future fitness when their physical educators are unfit, do not understand fundamental concepts involving their content, do not live a physically active lifestyle, and cannot perform the skills they are trying to teach.

This research provides empirical evidence of the disconnect between the professional physical educator's message to their students, the importance of engaging in good health behaviors and leading an active lifestyle, with the physical educator's appearance. Professional physical education teachers everywhere must realize the powerful effect that they have on the students they teach and as a result work harder to be credible role models.

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Ralph R. Gold, Jr., Ed.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Science, Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education, Samford University, Birmingham, AL .John Petrella, James Angel, Leslie S. Ennis, and Thomas W. Woolley.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Dr. Ralph R. Gold at rrgold@samford.edu.
Table 1

BMI for Children and Teens (BM--for age)

Weight Status     Percentile Range
Category

Underweight       BMI-for-age <5th percentile

Normal            BMI-for-age 5th percentile to <85th percentile

Overweight        BMI-for-age 85th percentile to <95th percentile

Obese             BMI-for-age 95th percentile or greater

(Reproduced from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
website: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdph/dnpaibmi/)

Table 2

Participant Demographic Information

Gender              Number

  Male               294
  Female             511
Total                805

Ethnicity            503
  White              241
  Black               21
  Hispanic            15
  Asian               25
  Other

Schools              422
  Suburban (2)       275
  Urban (2)          108
  Inner-City (1)

Body mass index for age percentiles

              Underweight    Healthy    Overweight     Obese

                   18          363          71          51
White              2           126          48          65
Black              0            13           1           7
Hispanic           1            12           1           1
Asian              0            14           4           7
Other

Body mass index by gender

Gender             8           182          52          52
Male
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Author:Gold, Ralph R.; Petrella, John; Angel, James; Ennis, Leslie S.; Woolley, Thomas W.
Publication:Journal of Instructional Psychology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2012
Words:6720
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