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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2007 Jun;17(5):394-408. Epub 2007 Mar 2.

Physical activity: an effective way to control weight in children?

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  • 1Department of Mother and Child, Biology-Genetics, Pediatrics Section, University of Verona, Verona, Italy. <>


Physical activity is the only component of total energy expenditure that can be voluntarily modified. Therefore, it is a reasonable behavioral target for the prevention and treatment of obesity. Most of the fat oxidized daily in the body occurs in skeletal muscle. Physical activity increases the amount of oxidized fat, which helps control fat mass. Moreover, skeletal muscle is an efficient blood glucose utilizer, and regular physical activity promotes insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis independently of its effect on body fat. The primary purpose of this study was to provide further insight into the metabolic effects of physical activity, especially on the regulation of energy expenditure, substrate oxidation and body composition. Also of interest is the analysis of available evidence that justifies the recommendation of physical activity programs in the treatment of childhood obesity.

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