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Nutr Hosp. 2013 Mar-Apr;28(2):347-56. doi: 10.3305/nh.2013.28.2.6280.

[Impact of strength training exercise on secondary prevention of childhood obesity; an intervention within the school system].

[Article in Spanish; Abstract available in Spanish from the publisher]

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Escuela de Nutrición y Dietética, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.


in English, Spanish


The physical exercise is an important therapeutic tool to prevent and treat obesity, as well as reducing metabolic alterations and the risk of non-communicable diseases.


To evaluate the impact of a strength training exercise intervention within the school system, this includes muscular strength exercise, dietary education and psychological support in obese children.


We worked with 120 obese schoolchildren, between 8 and 13 years, recruited from 3 schools. Group 1 (n = 60) participated in the intervention, which included physical exercise, dietary education, and psychological support, for 3 months. Group 2 (n = 60) received only the educational intervention and psychological support for the first 3 months, and then received the exercise intervention from months 3 to 6. Participants were evaluated for BMI, waist circumference, body fat, presence of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk factors.


At 3 months, there were significant differences between the groups for change in BMI z-score, waist circumference, and body fat as well as prevalence of metabolic syndrome, abdominal obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, and fasting hyperglycemia. In group 1, these parameters decreased and increased, in group 2. From months 3 to 6, Group 2 showed a significant decrease in abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, and hypertriglyceridemia, while Group 1 showed a significant increase in high blood pressure and no change in other cardiovascular risk factors.


This study demonstrates the positive impact of a strength training physical exercise program on reduction of body fat, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk factors. This study supports the use of exercise as a treatment for obesity and its comorbidities in schoolchildren.

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