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Association Between the Summer Season and Body Fatness and Aerobic Fitness Among Hispanic Children




Few studies have investigated changes in adiposity and fitness during the academic year (AY) and summer season (SS) in minority children. This study aimed to assess if adiposity indicators and fitness change during the school AY and SS in Hispanic children.


One hundred nineteen low-income Hispanic children (9.2 ± 0.8) participated in the study. Demographic, body weight and height, percent body fat (% BF), and aerobic endurance were assessed at 3 time points: measurement 1 (M1), beginning of AY; M2, end of AY; and M3, end of SS. Using weight and height, body mass index (BMI) was calculated and normalized (BMI z-scores). Mixed effects between-within-subjects analysis of variance (ANOVA) design was used to examine changes in selected variables.


A significant decrease of BMI z-scores in overweight children (p = .024) was observed during the AY only, but not during the SS. Percent BF increased significantly over the AY and SS (p < .001), particularly in girls. Aerobic endurance showed a significant increase over the AY (p < .001), but it did not change over the SS (p = .552).


Results indicated that the SS might place Hispanic children at increased risk for additional adiposity and lower fitness.