This article compares child reports of their physical and sedentary activities with those of their parents.
Data were obtained from the 2003 Children's Lifestyle and School-performance Study (CLASS), a survey of Grade 5 students and their parents in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. Survey data with responses from Grade 5 students and their parents about the students' physical and sedentary activities were used. Agreement between the parent and child reports was evaluated with weighted kappa. Multilevel logistic regression was used to compare the parent and child reports in relation to the child body weight.
Agreement between the 3958 pairs of parent and child reports was low to fair. Relative to normal weight children, those who were overweight or obese reported more participation in organized and leisure sports and less time watching television than what their parents perceived. Unlike child self-reports, parent reports demonstrated statistically significant associations between the child's activities and body weight.
Based on these findings, parent reports seem to provide a more accurate assessment of activity levels of children younger than 12.