Publication Date


Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Daryl Canham


minority adolescents, middle school, nutrition behavior, physical activity behavior, overweight, perception of weight


The purpose of this study was to examine behaviors related to nutrition and physical activity of inner-city minority adolescents, and their perception of normal weight and overweight. The research study used a descriptive, non-experimental design which had a convenience sample of thirty-seven 8th grade minority adolescents who attended a chartered urban K-8 grade school in Northern California. There were no statistically significant differences in the results, however, over 50% of the students reported not eating the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Another 68% reported participating more than 30 minutes in exercising or playing sports during physical education class. Although 42% of the students reported being the right weight, they wanted to lose weight. This demonstrates a need for healthy nutritional behavior and physical activity amongst this population. School nurses can play an important role in identifying at risk students for obesity and provide education in nutrition, structured physical activities, and obesity prevention strategies.