Introduction: The effect of being overweight in childhood has both physical and psychological implications. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships among body mass index (BMI), healthy lifestyle beliefs and behaviors, and mental health indicators for 5th- and 6th-grade children in a Title I school. Methods: This is a cross-sectional, descriptive correlational design on a convenience sample of youth in an urban school. BMI was calculated. Participants completed surveys that assessed healthy beliefs and behaviors, activity and nutrition knowledge, and mental health indicators. Results: Children with higher BMIs reported difficulty in living a healthy lifestyle. This perceived difficulty affected their ability to make healthy choices. Belief in the ability to live a healthy lifestyle resulted in reported healthier behaviors. Anxiety and depression symptomatology were not significantly related to healthy lifestyle indicators. Discussion: The results demonstrate that the proposed thinking, feeling, behavior triangle model was supported in this population.
- Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Healthy beliefs and behaviors
- Mental health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health