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Relationship between motor skill and BMI in Flemish primary school children

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Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Prevalence levels of overweight and obesity are dramatically increasing among children worldwide. Next to serious health risks and psychosocial consequences, it is also suggested that there is a relationship between BMI and motor skill in children. Because obesity influences body geometry and increases the mass of different body segments, the observed differences are often explained from a mechanical point of view. The purpose of this study was to investigate both gross and fine motor skill in overweight and obese primary school children compared to their normal-weight peers. Possible differences between boys and girls were also examined. METHODS: A total of 117 Flemish primary schoolchildren aged 5-10 y participated in this study. According to the international cut-off points for BMI, participants were classified into three groups: normal-weight, overweight and obese. Level of motor skill was assessed using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC, Henderson & Sudgen, 1992). RESULTS: Scores for ball skills (p < 0.05) and static and dynamic balance (p < 0.001) were significantly better in normal and overweight children as compared to their obese counterparts, while a similar trend was found for manual dexterity (p < 0.10). There was also an effect of BMI-group on total MABC and percentile score. Again post hoc analyses showed that obese children performed worse. Gender did not significantly interact with BMI-group for any of the scores mentioned above. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that obese children have lower general motor competence scores than normal-weight and overweight peers. The observed difference is most obvious for static and dynamic balance. It can be suggested that childhood obesity is a possible constraint to develop motor competences, especially in skills involving more body segments. Still, further research needs to consider whether the lower motor competence in obese children is caused solely by the increased mass of body and body segments, given the tendency towards a weaker performance of the obese child on fine motor skills too. Finally, the absence of a linear relationship between BMI and motor skill must be addressed further.

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Chicago
D’Hondt, Eva, Griet Van Hoorne, Kim Van Hoye, Benedicte Deforche, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, and Matthieu Lenoir. 2007. “Relationship Between Motor Skill and BMI in Flemish Primary School Children.” In VK-symposium, 12e, Proceedings, 14–14. Vereniging voor Kinesiologie (VK).
APA
D’Hondt, E., Van Hoorne, G., Van Hoye, K., Deforche, B., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., & Lenoir, M. (2007). Relationship between motor skill and BMI in Flemish primary school children. VK-symposium, 12e, Proceedings (pp. 14–14). Presented at the 12de VK-symposium, Vereniging voor Kinesiologie (VK).
Vancouver
1.
D’Hondt E, Van Hoorne G, Van Hoye K, Deforche B, De Bourdeaudhuij I, Lenoir M. Relationship between motor skill and BMI in Flemish primary school children. VK-symposium, 12e, Proceedings. Vereniging voor Kinesiologie (VK); 2007. p. 14–14.
MLA
D’Hondt, Eva, Griet Van Hoorne, Kim Van Hoye, et al. “Relationship Between Motor Skill and BMI in Flemish Primary School Children.” VK-symposium, 12e, Proceedings. Vereniging voor Kinesiologie (VK), 2007. 14–14. Print.
@inproceedings{1112650,
  abstract     = {INTRODUCTION: Prevalence levels of overweight and obesity are dramatically increasing among children worldwide. Next to serious health risks and psychosocial consequences, it is also suggested that there is a relationship between BMI and motor skill in children. Because obesity influences body geometry and increases the mass of different body segments, the observed differences are often explained from a mechanical point of view. The purpose of this study was to investigate both gross and fine motor skill in overweight and obese primary school children compared to their normal-weight peers. Possible differences between boys and girls were also examined. METHODS: A total of 117 Flemish primary schoolchildren aged 5-10 y participated in this study. According to the international cut-off points for BMI, participants were classified into three groups: normal-weight, overweight and obese. Level of motor skill was assessed using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC, Henderson \& Sudgen, 1992). 
RESULTS: Scores for ball skills (p {\textlangle} 0.05) and static and dynamic balance (p {\textlangle} 0.001) were significantly better in normal and overweight children as compared to their obese counterparts, while a similar trend was found for manual dexterity (p {\textlangle} 0.10). There was also an effect of BMI-group on total MABC and percentile score. Again post hoc analyses showed that obese children performed worse. Gender did not significantly interact with BMI-group for any of the scores mentioned above.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that obese children have lower general motor competence scores than normal-weight and overweight peers. The observed difference is most obvious for static and dynamic balance. It can be suggested that childhood obesity is a possible constraint to develop motor competences, especially in skills involving more body segments. Still, further research needs to consider whether the lower motor competence in obese children is caused solely by the increased mass of body and body segments, given the tendency towards a weaker performance of the obese child on fine motor skills too. Finally, the absence of a linear relationship between BMI and motor skill must be addressed further.},
  author       = {D'Hondt, Eva and Van Hoorne, Griet and Van Hoye, Kim and Deforche, Benedicte and De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse and Lenoir, Matthieu},
  booktitle    = {VK-symposium, 12e, Proceedings},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Ghent, Belgium},
  pages        = {14--14},
  publisher    = {Vereniging voor Kinesiologie (VK)},
  title        = {Relationship between motor skill and BMI in Flemish primary school children},
  year         = {2007},
}