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Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism

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Improved metabolic and cardiorespiratory fitness during a recreational training program in obese children

1 / Daniela Larizza1 / Erwan Codrons2 / Annalisa De Silvestri3 / Paola Brambilla1 / Sebastiano Abela2 / Marisa Arpesella2 / Matteo Vandoni2

1Department of Pediatrics, IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo Foundation and University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy

2Department of Applied Health Sciences and Neurosciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy

3Biometry and Clinical Epidemiology, Scientific Direction, IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo Foundation, Pavia, Italy

Correspondening author: Valeria Calcaterra, Department of Pediatrics, IRCCS Policlinico S. Matteo Foundation, P.le Golgi n.2, 27100 Pavia, Italy, Phone: +390382502930, Fax: +390382527976

Citation Information: Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism. Volume 26, Issue 3-4, Pages 271–276, ISSN (Online) 2191-0251, ISSN (Print) 0334-018X, DOI: 10.1515/jpem-2012-0157, December 2012

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Physical activity may protect from the adverse effects of obesity. In obese children, an increased adherence and a decreased drop-out rate during exercise could be achieved with adaptated activities. We studied a recreational 12-week controlled training program for sedentary obese children, including interactive video games. We enrolled 22 obese subjects (13.23±1.76 years) in an exercise program, implemented twice a week for a 12-week period. The program consisted of a combination of circuit-based aerobics, strength and resistance exercises; specifically soccer, rugby, volleyball and basketball and interactive video game exercises. Outcome measurements included body composition, metabolic profile and cardiorespiratory fitness. During the 12-week training program there was a significant decrease in body mass index (BMI) (p=0.002), SDS-BMI (p=0.003), waist circumference (p=0.004), waist circumference/height ratio (p=0.001),% fat mass (p=0.001), blood glucose (p=0.001), homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) (p=0.04), triglycerides (p=0.03) and systolic pressure (p=0.04) before and after exercise. Improvement in estimated maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) (p<0.001) correlated with a decrease in fat mass (p=0.01), triglycerides (p=0.04) and insulin resistance (p=0.02). Exercise improved metabolic and cardiorespiratory fitness in obese children. Exercise training does not necessarily need to be vigorous, recreational programs are also effective and may encourage children to participate in physical activity and limit initial drop-out.

Keywords: cardiorespiratory fitness; children; metabolic; obesity; recreational activity

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