Title

Recess and Overweight and Obesity in Children 5-11 Years of Age: 2013-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey*

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2022

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Recess has been shown to increase total daily energy expenditure, which may favorably impact body mass index by decreasing adiposity. This study examines associations between recess participation and adiposity. METHODS: The study sample included male (N = 1434) and female (N = 1409) children 5 to 11 years of age participating in the 2013-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Overweight and obesity were defined using age- and sex-specific percentiles. Recess participation interview questions were answered via proxy response. RESULTS: Compared to a referent group participating in recess 5 days/week for >30 minutes/day and independent of demographic and behavioral factors, analysis revealed significantly greater odds of obesity in females reporting no recess participation (odds ratio 1.80; 95% confidence interval, 1.03-3.15, p =.03). Furthermore, minority females were consistently found to possess greater odds of overweight and obesity independent of recess participation time. Only Mexican American boys were found to have greater odds of obesity independent of participation recess time. CONCLUSIONS: In a large nationally representative sample of US children, reporting no recess was associated with significantly greater odds of obesity in females. Minority females were also more likely to be overweight and obese and Mexican American boys are more likely to be obese independent of recess participation time.

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