Developmental Coordination Disorder, gender, and body weight: examining the impact of participation in active play

John Cairney, Matthew Y W Kwan, John A Hay, Brent E Faught
Research in Developmental Disabilities 2012, 33 (5): 1566-73

BACKGROUND: To examine whether differences in participation in active play (PAP) can account for gender differences in the relationship between Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and body weight/fat (BMI and percentage fat) in youth.

METHODS: A cross-sectional investigation of students in grades four through eight (n = 590). Height, weight (BMI), and percentage body fat using bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA; RJL Systems, MI) were collected. Motor proficiency and physical activity levels were also evaluated.

RESULTS: We found gender specific patterns in the relationship between PAP, DCD, and BMI and body fat. Among boys with DCD, greater participation in active play is associated with higher BMI and percentage body fat. For girls with the disorder, the opposite relationship is observed.

CONCLUSIONS: Participation in active play moderates the association between DCD, gender and body weight. Three possible explanations for why PAP is associated with higher BMI and percentage body fat in boys with DCD are provided.

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