An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.
David Kahan, PhD
Thomas L. McKenzie, PhD
Parents and other stakeholders regularly view school websites for important information including curricula. Over 300,000 students are enrolled in North American Jewish day schools, but little is known about schools’ online promotion of physical education (PE). We conducted a content analysis of the mention of various PE characteristics and their association with school characteristics.
We systematically tallied mention of 7 PE characteristics and 4 school characteristics on the websites of 516 Jewish day schools located in 237 North American cities. Descriptive statistics and cross-tabulations were used to analyze proportions for each characteristic and associations among them.
PE and curriculum were the only characteristics mentioned on over 50% of the websites. The mention of 4 PE characteristics (health messaging, facilities, PE, curriculum) was strongly associated with the religious affiliation of schools. Specifically, websites of liberal schools and traditional schools were more and less likely, respectively, to mention the characteristics.
The websites of Jewish day schools insufficiently promoted PE characteristics with large differences based on religious affiliation. Surveying school officials responsible for website content about their beliefs on PE generally and the appropriateness of websites for promoting it may help inform strategies for boosting its online presence.
Unhealthy lifestyle habits during adolescence are linked to a higher risk of chronic degenerative disease during adulthood. The aim of this study was to assess the lifestyle habits among Italian adolescents, considering the potential influence of sex.
Data were collected from 1707 eligible students. Demographic, dietary, and lifestyle data were collected, by using KIDMED and PAQ-C instruments.
The overall population had a medium adherence to a Mediterranean diet (58%, KIDMED score: 2.11 ± 0.64). There was no statistically significant difference in adherence by sex. We found boys to be more physically active than girls (p < .001). Considering ponderal index status, boys had turned out to be more overweight and obese respectively (13% and 4% respect to 10% and 2% in female population, p < .05, respectively), due to the presence of only one risk factor (medium or low both in diet and in physical activity score).
Our results showed that our population stands at average levels both for its adherence to the Mediterranean diet and for physical activity, with males having a higher percentage of overweight and obesity. Importantly, in contrast to girls, boys have a higher risk of obesity, also in the presence of a single risk factor.