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June 1962

The Physical Activity of Obese Girls

Author Affiliations

Albert Stunkard, M.D., Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 4.; From the Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

Am J Dis Child. 1962;103(6):812-817. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080020829011

Introduction  Early clinical studies have reported that obese persons of all ages and both sexes are less active than are nonobese persons.1-7 These clinical reports have recently been supplemented by more quantitative studies which suggest a somewhat more complicated state of affairs; whereas obese women are indeed quite inactive when compared with nonobese women, there is much less difference in physical activity between obese and nonobese men.8 In fact, when the greater weight of obese men was taken into consideration, it appeared that they had performed as much physical work as had the nonobese men. These findings raise the question of whether the inactivity of obese women is a function of their gender or of biological and social influences affecting women. In other words, are obese women inactive solely because they are female or because they are also women?In an attempt to answer this question the physical

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