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Pediatrics. 2007 Nov;120(5):e1262-8.

Aerobic fitness attenuates the metabolic syndrome score in normal-weight, at-risk-for-overweight, and overweight children.

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  • 1Department of Exercise and Sport Science, 153 Minges Coliseum, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA.



The purpose of this study was to examine the combined influence of aerobic fitness and BMI on the metabolic syndrome score in children.


A total of 375 children (193 girls and 182 boys) aged 7 to 9 years were categorized as being normal weight, at risk for overweight, and overweight on the basis of BMI and aerobic fitness (high or low based on median split) via a submaximal physical working capacity test. Participants were cross-tabulated into 6 BMI fitness categories. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels, homeostasis assessment model of insulin resistance, mean arterial pressure, and waist circumference were used to create a continuous metabolic syndrome score.


Both BMI and fitness were associated with the metabolic syndrome score. In general, the metabolic syndrome score increased across the cross-tabulated groups with the normal-weight, high-fit group possessing the lowest metabolic syndrome score and the overweight, unfit group possessing the highest metabolic syndrome score. Children who were at risk for overweight and had high fitness had a lower metabolic syndrome score compared with those at-risk-for-overweight, less-fit children, and the score was similar to that of the less-fit, normal-weight children. Furthermore, a high fitness level resulted in a lower metabolic syndrome score in overweight children compared with overweight children with low fitness.


High fitness levels modified the impact that BMI had on the metabolic syndrome score in children. Increasing a child's fitness level could be one method for reducing the risk of obesity-related comorbidities.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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