Relationships Between Health Behaviors, Perceived Health Status, and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Adolescent Girls
Goldsholl, Stacy Danielle
Young, Deborah R
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Poor physical fitness and diet contribute to increases in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors including BMI, waist circumference (WC), systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP), and HDL-C levels. These behaviors are also associated with positive perceptions of health status. It was hypothesized that the associations between positive health behaviors and CVD risk factors would be mediated by perceived health status in adolescent girls. Regression models were used to test for independent effects and mediation. 185 girls were analyzed, 83% were African American and 50% were overweight. Perceived health status predicted WC, BMI, and SBP. Fat consumption predicted WC and SBP. There were no associations between health behaviors and perceived health status. Adolescent girls are able to accurately assess their overall health status regardless of fitness or dietary behaviors. Interventions should encourage girls to consider these healthy behaviors when assessing health status to increase participation in these behaviors.