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This article is the author’s final published version in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19, Issue 7, March 2022, Article number 3773.

The published version is available at Copyright © Van Fossen et al.


Background: The purpose of this study was to explore the associations between demographics, family exercise participation, family discouragement of exercise, and the children's physical and sedentary behaviors to identify specific areas of physical activity intervention for children with parents engaged in medical weight management (MWM).

Methods: Parents (n = 294) of children aged 2-18 years old were recruited from two university MWM programs to complete a one-time survey. Bivariate analyses tested associations.

Results: Parents reported that sedentary activity was higher for children who identified as racial minorities (t(141) = -2.05, p < 0.05). Mobile phone and tablet use was higher for adolescents compared to school age and young children (H(2) = 10.96, p < 01) Exercise game use was higher for racial minority children compared to white children (U = 9440.5, z = 2.47, p ≤ 0.03). Male children (t(284) = 1.83, p < 0.07), children perceived to have a healthy weight status (t(120) = 4.68, p < 0.00), and younger children (t(289) = 1.79, p < 0.08) all engaged in more strenuous physical activity. Family exercise participation (t(162) = -2.93, p < 0.01) and family discouragement of exercise (U = 7813.50, z = -2.06, p ≤ 0.04) were significantly higher for children in racial minority families.

Conclusions: Future work should determine methods to engage children and their parents participating in MWM in physical activities together to ensure that the changes the parents are making with MWM are sustainable.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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