NHANES National Youth Fitness Survey

NNYFS Frequently Asked Questions

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Information About the Survey

Q. Who is doing the NHANES National Youth Fitness Survey?

A. The NNYFS is conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The NCHS, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), collects data on the health of the U.S. population through interviews and direct physical measurements.

Q. What is the survey about?

A. The survey includes an interview in the home to collect demographic and health-related information. Standardized fitness tests and interviews will be given in our mobile center. The NNYFS will travel across the country in a mobile center to reach selected survey participants. This is a one-of-a kind survey committed to providing information that can have a long-lasting impact on the health of America’s youth.

Q. How is the information used?

A. The information that will be collected in the NNYFS will be used to gain a better understanding about fitness and dietary behaviors in children and teens across the U.S. The NNYFS will provide current information on the health and fitness of participants ages 3 to 15. The NNYFS data will be used to measure progress in attaining national goals for youth fitness and healthy diet. The NNYFS will also provide information needed for program and policy development.

Q. Why survey young people in the United States?

A. The NNYFS focuses on 3 to 15 year-olds. The last comprehensive assessment of the fitness of America’s youth occurred more than 20 years ago, and since then childhood obesity and Type II diabetes have increased. A more up-to-date assessment is needed. Patterns of behavior that can continue throughout life, such as exercise and diet, are often developed during childhood, so it is important to learn all we can about the habits of children and teens now.


Information About Confidentiality

Q. Is my information and my child’s information confidential?

A. Confidentiality is guaranteed by law. All information collected in the survey is protected under section 308(d) of the Public Health Service Act (42 USC 242m) and the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (PL-107-347). By law, every employee, as well as every agent, has taken an oath and is subject to a jail term of up to five years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both if he or she willfully discloses ANY identifiable information about you. The National Center for Health Statistics has never had a breach of confidentiality in the 50 years that NHANES has been conducted.


Information About Participation

Q. How was my household selected for this survey?

A. The NNYFS divides the United States into communities. The communities are divided into neighborhoods. The neighborhoods are selected at random. From each neighborhood, housing units are selected at random. Selected households are approached by our interviewers who ask residents a few short questions to determine if their household is eligible for the study. You may have received our introductory letter, sent to “Resident” at your home address.

If your child is selected to be a participant in the NNYFS, no other child can be substituted for your child. Your child was selected based on age and gender. No one can take your child’s place in this survey.

Q. What if my child is not physically fit or athletic?

A. The NHANES National Youth Fitness Survey is not a study based on athletic ability nor is it a pass/fail fitness test. The NNYFS recognizes that children come in all shapes and sizes and we encourage every child selected to participate in the NNYFS. This is a good opportunity to find out more about your child’s health.

Q. Will I be asked to take part in the survey?

A. In the home interview, you will take part in an interview in which you will be asked questions about your child’s health. In the mobile center, you will take part in the interview about your child’s dietary behavior if your child is 3–11 years of age. You will also be given instructions on how to use a physical activity monitor.


Information About the Appointment

Q. What does my child need to bring to the mobile center?

A. If your child has started taking any new medication since the home interview; please bring the container so we can record the product. If your child requires an inhaler for asthma, please bring that as well.

Q. What should my child wear?

A. It is important that your child wear or bring light-weight, loose-fitting shorts and a sleeveless or short-sleeved t-shirt. Your child should wear socks and sneakers, tennis shoes, or running shoes. No sandals or flip flops please.

Q. How long will my child’s appointment take?

A. Participation in our mobile center can take up to two hours.

Q. Can I bring my other children along?

A. Since the waiting area has limited space, we prefer you bring only those children participating in the survey. We do provide compensation for child care expenses.

Q. What do I need to do after my visit to the mobile center?

A. Please mail back the physical activity monitor on the scheduled due date.


For More Information

Q. Who can I contact with more questions?

A. For more information or if you have questions regarding the NNYFS, please call Dr. Kathryn Porter toll-free at 1-800-452-6115, Monday through Friday from 8:30 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. EST.