|dc.description.abstract||The prevalence of obesity is a growing problem for children and adolescents
worldwide (Schwellnus & Derman, 2003:12; Verster, 2001:15; Cameron, 1999:75).
Obesity contributes to primary and secondary health risks such as coronary heart
disease and diabetes (Kalk, 2001:576). Obesity is inheritable as well as the health
disorders associated with the type of obesity (Kalk, 2001:576; Dietz, 1995:157;
Garfinkel & Cosina, 1990:511; Bouchard et a/., 1985:64). A possible cause for the
increase of obesity is inactivity, and this generates numerous health problems for
children and adolescents (Du Toit & Van der Merwe, 2003:49; Verster, 2001:15;
Kalk,2001:576; Steinbeck, 2000:28; Cameron, 1999:75; Reilley et a/., 1999:217).
Research has shown that regular exercise can lower the risk of obesity and have
many health benefits in general (Deheeger et a/., 1997:375).Consequently the
participation of physical activity is important for everyone not only for the obese
individual (Van Mil et a/., 1999:842). Physical activity has physical as well as
psychological benefits such as positive development in self-concept (Walters &
A positive self-concept during adolescence can have an influence on mental and
physical health, and the development of a positive self-concept is critical during the
adolescent period (Park, 2003:42). Research also indicates that a strong self-concept can lead to an increase in participation physical activity (Park, 2003:47).
Physical activity can also be a social opportunity during which self-concept and
self-worth can develop (Marsh, 1997:28).
The objective of this study firstly was to determine the influence of a 16-week
physical activity intervention program on body composition and self-concept of
black South African adolescents. The second objective was to determine the
incidence of obesity among these adolescents. The third objective was to
determine the influence of body composition on self-concept after participation in a 16-week physical activity intervention program. A total of 95 black adolescents
(ages 13 to 18) were recruited to participate in the PLAY study (Physical Activity
for the Youth). A control group of 24 adolescents did not participate in any
exercise, where an experimental group of 71 adolescents did indeed participate in a 16-week physical activity intervention program. Anthropometric measurements and a comprehensive body composition were taken, using skin folds, BMl and the Bod Pod. The subjects completed a self-concept questionnaire (PASWIN2004 computer program).
The findings in this study seems to indicate that there was a positive relationship,
between physical activity and BMI as well as Bod Pod changes, after a 16-week
activity intervention program in the experimental boys group. No further
correlations were traced in the other groups. Among all the adolescents
(experimental and control groups), were 80.85% overweight, of which 40.42% were classified as obese. This shows that the majority of this group of adolescents were overweight. No significant changes were found in body composition. The girls showed a slight increase in BMI as well as body fat percentage and a decrease in self-concept. This indicates that an increase in body fat can lead to a lower self-concept.||