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Int J Pediatr Obes. 2010 Dec;5(6):467-73. doi: 10.3109/17477160903576093. Epub 2010 Mar 17.

Influence of socioeconomic factors on fitness and fatness in Spanish adolescents: the AVENA study.

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Department of Health and Human Performance, Faculty of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences-INEF, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain.



This study was to examine the influence of socioeconomic status on fitness and fatness in Spanish adolescents.


A total of 1 795 adolescents (833 boys) aged 12.5-18.5 years from the AVENA study participated in this study. The following physical fitness components were assessed: muscular strength (standing long jump), speed-agility (4 × 10 m shuttle run) and cardiorespiratory fitness (20 m shuttle run). Total and central body fat was assessed using skinfold thickness and waist circumference, respectively. Both parents reported their educational and professional level.


Girls with higher paternal educational level and boys with higher either maternal or paternal professional level had higher muscular strength levels (all P<0.05). Speed-agility and cardiorespiratory fitness were not associated with parental educational or professional levels in boys. In contrast, girls with higher paternal educational level or higher parental professional level had higher levels in both fitness components (all P<0.05). A higher maternal educational level was associated with lower total and central body fat in boys (all P<0.05), but not in girls. We observed a small effect size (Cohen's d∼0.2) in most of these associations.


Our results suggest modest associations of high socioeconomic status with better fitness and fatness levels in Spanish adolescents. These associations greatly depend on the socioeconomic status and fitness parameters studied.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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