Like Parent, Like Child: Cardiovascular
Health and Body Composition
Recent research has established factors that have a bearing on the health status of children. These include environmental
and parental influence. Researchers David Wachob and Robert Alman think
that since there has been a large increase
of the number of home-educated children in the United States then “… it is
imperative to begin investigating the impact that this unique environment has on
the children’s health” (p. 2).
They inspected the cardiovascular health
and body composition of homeschooling
children to learn the impact that the parent-teacher has on these health indicators.
The variables they considered include the
children’s aerobic capacity (VO2 levels),
Body Mass Index (BMI), and body fat percentage. Then the children’s results were
then compared to their parent-teacher’s
estimated VO2 levels, Body Mass Index
(BMI), and body fat percentage.
The investigators sample involved “…
14 homeschooling families from western
Pennsylvania, including 30 children ages
8-16 years, and each of the 14 family’s
parent-teacher; which in this case were
all mothers of the children. All participants were eligible to participate in the
study because the children are educated
in the home and the primary caregiver is
the teacher. The majority of children participants were females ( 53.3%) and in the
10-11 ( 36.4%) age group” (p. 2-3).
Children’s fitness levels were determined by a test that “… requires children to run a series of 20-meter laps
to a timed cadence with the speed increasing each minute until the child
cannot complete the lap in the designated time” (p. 3). Parents’ fitness levels
were established by use of a single-stage
treadmill walking test to measure their
“Body composition was determined
by calculating height and weight ratios
for both the parent and child participants, being reported as body mass index (BMI)” and body composition was
also established by measuring body fat
percentage of both the parent and child
participants using a handheld bioelectrical impedance method (BIA) (p. 3).
Parents should strive to be good role models to their children
regarding the care of their bodies and physical health.