This study aimed to determine the validity of the Habitual Activity Estimation Scale (HAES) for assessing physical activity (PA) in children and adolescents with severe obesity. Data were obtained from participants (n = 17) in the High Impact Strategies Toward Overweight Reduction in Youth study at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Objective measurement of PA was recorded with accelerometers and interpreted using counts-per-minute (CPM) cutpoints developed for children and adolescents. Self-report measurement of PA was collected using the HAES questionnaire. Pearson correlations revealed HAES significantly overestimated average daily duration of vigorous (+48 ± 64 min, p < 0.001) and moderate-light activity (+114 ± 129 min, p < 0.001) but not inactivity (+38 ± 158 min, p = 0.17). This disagreement may be explained by increased perceived exertion in obese participants when performing PA. Thus, the HAES should not be used to assess PA in obese youth. Further work to validate accelerometer CPM cut-points for obese children and adolescents calibrated to energy consumption and perceived exertion during PA in this group is warranted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Health Policy
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health