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July 3, 1972

Physical Fitness For Exercise Participation

JAMA. 1972;221(1):86. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200140070026

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To the Editor.—  I read with interest Mr. Russell C. Sneddon's letter (220:857, 1972) titled "Physical Fitness For Exercise Participation." A number of points are open to discussion. The first is that plotting a child's height, weight, and physical development on a one-point-in-time basis is totally useless. All graphs, grids, growth charts, and so forth are only of value on a longitudinal basis. What constitutes proper growth for one individual does not constitute proper growth for another. Under par growth, which is the same as under-average growth, may be normal in one child and in certain conditions may be accelerated growth in yet another.Poor testing performances could also reflect the inflexibility of the test or tester with respect to a variation of normal in a given individual. If the results are revealed to the parents that their child has not plotted out properly on a Wetzel Grid, this could