Previous studies have shown that primary school children with a higher body mass index are likely to have poorer fundamental movement skills. For the new study, the team assessed running, catching and balance skills of 250 girls and boys between 6-11 years, categorising their FMS as either low, medium or high. The researchers then cross-referenced the kids' motor skills with their body fatness to investigate the relationship between the two. The children's habitual physical activity was also taken into account. The results showed that body fatness was significantly higher among girls in the low FMS category compared with boys as well as girls with high FMS.
"What we've found is significant because it signals a need to review the strategies we have to enhance motor proficiency in girls," said lead researcher Mike Duncan, professor at Coventry University in Britain. "The next big question is whether developmental delays in acquiring these motor skills, whether in girls or boys, may actually be the cause of children gaining unhealthy weight status," Duncan said.
The study was presented recently at the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Conference 2016 in Nottingham, Britain.
Young girls who exhibit a poor mastery of fundamental movement skills (FMS) such as running, catching and balance are more likely to be obese than boys who have similarly low skills, according to a research.