|dc.description.abstract||The purpose of this study was to examine the incidence of obesity and Developmental
Coordination Disorder (DCD) of girls in the age group 10-12 years of different race groups
in the North-West Province. A second purpose was to determine if DCD status can be
predicted effectively among 10-12 year old girls with regard to race, age, percentage body
fat, body mass, length, body mass index and bent aim hang.
Obesity is the cause of health risks, psychological consequences and improper development
(Chantell et al., 1994:116; Marshall & Bouffard, 1994:1997; Treuth et al., 1997:1738).
Children with DCD have poor motor abilities and experience problems regarding
concentration and social abilities, all of which are necessary for successful schooling
(Geuze & Borger, 1993:14; Piek & Edwards, 1997:55; Sugden & Chambers, 1998:139)
According to research, the incidence of obesity among children has doubled over the last 20
years, and 10-30% of all children and adolescents can be classified as obese. Causes of
obesity may be genetic but a lack of physical activity and an unbalanced diet can also
contribute to obesity. Health risks, psycho-social risks and developmental disorders are all
indicated in the literature to be consequences of obesity.
The incidence of DCD is documented in the literature to be between 5% and 16%. It is also
shown that it may be the cause of problems in daily living and at school, and some racial
differences with regard to motor differences are indicated. It is also indicated that
overweight and obese children are less mobile and that their motor achievement is poorer in
movements where the shifting of body weight is required.
All the subjects for this study (N=346) completed the Movement ABC (MABC)
(Henderson & Sugden, 1992) to determine their DCD status. Fat percentage was
determined from the subscapular and triceps skin folds according to the formula of Boileau
et al. (1985:17-27), while a body mass index (BMI) (l/w2)above the 85th percentile was
used as a criterion for overweight, and a BMI of above the 95th percentile for obesity. The
Statistics for Windows computer package was used to determine descriptive statistics and
significant differences between the groups.
The results showed that the incidence of obesity and DCD were 4,93% and 59,78%
respectively. 50% of the white girls, 72,73% of blacks, 0% of coloureds and 100% of
Indian girls in the total group who were classified as DCD were also obese. The results
indicated a higher relationship between obesity and DCD among the Indian and black girls
compared to the white and coloured girls in the DCD group. Indian girls showed the
highest incidence of obesity and coloured girls the least. The Indian and black girls also
showed the highest incidence of DCD, while the percentages of DCD among all the race
groups were higher than the levels indicated in the literature. The percentage of obesity
found in the study was lower than in the literature, but higher percentages were found
among the Indian and white girls, while all the obese Indian girls were also classified as
suffering from DCD.
With regard to the second aim of the study, no significant predictors for DCD could be
found among the different body composition variables of bent arm hang, race and age,
although some tendencies emerged. Results showed that the percentage fat was not a good
predictor of DCD status in the group, but in the different racial groups its predictive value
became higher. However, none of the variables could be considered good predictors of
DCD status among girls, although it can be concluded that there are tendencies towards a
relationship between obesity, DCD and race.
Thus it is important for children with DCD and obesity (separate and in combination) to be
identified and treated with intervention programs as early as possible, and it is essential to
include physical activities as part of the treatment (Dussart, 1994:81; LeMure et al.,
2000:336). The results of the study indicated that it is important to analyse the needs and
characteristics of the different race groups in order to ensure the success of such programs.
Indian girls especially should be encouraged to participate in physical activity programmes
because of the high percentages of obesity found in the DCD group.||