This study examined whether lower motor performance scores can be full attributed to poor coordination, or whether weight related morphological constraints may also affect motor performance. Data for 666 children and adolescents from the longitudinal Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study were grouped into normal weight, overweight and obese categories based on the International Obesity Task Force cut points. Participants completed the 10-item McCarron Assessment of Neuromuscular Development (MAND) at the 10 and 14 year follow-up. The prevalence of overweight and obese participants classified with mild or moderate motor difficulties was not different from the normal weight group at 10 years (χ2 = 5.8 p = .215), but higher at 14 years (χ2 = 11.3 p = .023). There were no significant differences in overall motor performance scores between weight status groups at 10 years, but at 14 years, the normal weight group achieved better scores than the obese group (p < .05). For specific items, the normal weight group consistently scored higher than the overweight and obese groups on the jump task at 10 (p < .001) and 14 (p < .01) years but lower on the hand strength task at both ages (p < .01). Our findings raise the question as to whether some test items commonly used for assessing motor competence are appropriate for an increasingly overweight and obese population.
Chivers, P. T., Larkin, D., Rose, E., Beilin, L., & Hands, B. P. (2013). Low motor performance scores among overweight children: Poor coordination or morphological constraints? Human Movement Science, 32(5), 1127-1137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.humov.2013.08.006