OBJECTIVE. This study examined the relationship between childhood obesity and overweight and functional activity and its enjoyment.

METHOD. A cross-sectional design was used to analyze data from the 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey National Youth Fitness Survey. Multivariate logistic regression models were used.

RESULTS. Data for 1,640 children ages 3–15 yr were retrieved. Physical activity was negatively associated with risk of obesity (odds ratio [OR] = 0.93; 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.87, 0.98]). Although children who were obese and overweight were more likely to have functional limitations (ORs = 1.58–1.61), their enjoyment of physical activity participation was not significantly different from that of the healthy-weight group.

CONCLUSION. Physical activity lowered the risk of obesity. Children who were obese had functional limitations compared with healthy-weight children, but both groups enjoyed physical activity equally. Future studies are needed to determine barriers to participation among these children in recreation and sporting activities.

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