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Res Q Exerc Sport. 2011 Sep;82(3):442-8.

The relationship between motor skill proficiency and body mass index in preschool children.

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Department of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA.


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between motor proficiency and body mass index (B/MI) in preschool children. Thirty-eight children ages 4-6 years had their BMI calculated and were assessed using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 (MABC-2; Henderson, Sugden, & Barnett, 2007). These data were analyzed in two ways. The correlation between BMI and MABC-2 percentile ranks was calculated. Next, the groups were subdivided based on BMI status (high, M = 85.5; medium, M = 49.8; low, M = 10.8), and compared using t tests to determine if differences existed in MABC-2 percentile ranks. No significant relationship existed between MABC-2 and BMI percentile ranks (r = -.237). However significant differences in MABC-2 percentile ranks existed between high and low (p = .042), and high and medium (p = .043) groups. These results suggest that preschool children classified as overweight or obese may have lower motor proficiency than their normal weight and under weight peers. This study indicates there is a direct relationship between motor proficiency and BMI in the preschool population.

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