Weight loss attempts and attitudes toward body size, eating, and physical activity in American Indian children: relationship to weight status and gender.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: This study examined dieting, weight perceptions, and self-efficacy to eat healthy foods and engage in physical activity and their relationships to weight status and gender among American Indian elementary schoolchildren. RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Data for this study were collected as part of the baseline examination for the Pathways study. Participants were 1441 second- through third-grade American Indian children in 41 schools representing seven tribes in Arizona, New Mexico, and South Dakota who filled out a questionnaire and had heights and weights taken. RESULTS: Forty-two percent of the children were overweight or obese. No differences were found between overweight/obese and normal weight children for healthy food intentions or self-efficacy. Heavier children (especially those with body mass index > 95th percentile) were more likely to have tried to lose weight or were currently trying to lose weight. No gender differences were found. Normal weight children chose a slightly heavier body size as most healthy compared with overweight/obese children. DISCUSSION: The results indicate that children are concerned about their weight and that weight modification efforts are common among overweight American Indian children. School, community, and family-based programs are needed to help young people adopt lifelong healthful eating and physical activity practices.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Story, M; Stevens, J; Evans, M; Cornell, CE; Juhaeri, ; Gittelsohn, J; Going, SB; Clay, TE; Murray, DM

Published Date

  • June 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 356 - 363

PubMed ID

  • 11399782

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1071-7323

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/oby.2001.46


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States