Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Public Health. 2004 Sep;94(9):1501-6.

Physical education in elementary school and body mass index: evidence from the early childhood longitudinal study.

Author information

  • 1RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA 90407, USA. datar@rand.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We examined the effect of physical education instruction time on body mass index (BMI) change in elementary school.

METHODS:

We examined data from a national sample of 9751 kindergartners in the United States who were reported on for 2 years. We used a difference-in-differences approach to examine the effect of an increase in physical education instruction time between kindergarten and first grade on the difference in BMI change in the 2 grades, using the same child as the control.

RESULTS:

One additional hour of physical education in first grade compared with the time allowed for physical education in kindergarten reduces BMI among girls who were overweight or at risk for overweight in kindergarten (coefficient = -0.31, P <.001) but has no significant effect among overweight or at-risk-for-overweight boys (coefficient = -0.07, P =.25) or among boys (coefficient = 0.04, P =.31) or girls (coefficient = 0.01, P =.80) with a normal BMI.

CONCLUSIONS:

Expanding physical education programs in schools, in the form in which they currently exist, may be an effective intervention for combating obesity in the early years, especially among girls.

PMID:
15333302
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1448481
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk