Fitness in Usa

Topics: Obesity, Body mass index, Test method Pages: 2 (675 words) Published: March 4, 2013
Fitness in the USA
After listening to the PowerPoint presentation by Dr. Marrow, determining the status of fitness levels in American youth is difficult to assess. There have been countless research studies done spanning numerous years proclaiming American youth is physically unfit. However, a paper published by Corbin &Pangazi in 1992 suggests that is not entirely true. Regardless whether American youth is physically fit or not, the fitness levels have not changed very drastically over the past 50 years. There has been a small increase in fitness levels but nothing substantial.

Various methods of body composition assessments are used to measure fitness levels, all offering unique benefits. With the vast amount of methods available there are drawbacks to each as well. Body Mass Index (BMI) is one example of a field method measurement. One benefit to this method is it is a quick and efficient way to assess body composition. Though it is a simple way to assess body composition, validity is reduced due to the fact that using BMI does not account for muscle density. Any individual who is muscular could be deemed obese according to the BMI method. Using laboratory methods such as Hydrostatic weighing are much more valid ways of testing. Laboratory testing, though valid, are a much more expensive way of testing. If there were to be one method used as the criterion for testing it would be skinfold testing with the use of a caliper. Using a caliper is more valid than using BMI and much less costly than laboratory testing methods.

There have been many key factors/forces driving interest in youth fitness levels in the past 50 years but the main reason was the tests results of US children compared to other children around the world. In 1954 tests measuring various aspects of physical fitness revealed that US children failed significantly more than children in Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. The results shocked President Eisenhower which launched an investigation...
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