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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2019 Jun;59(6):1045-1057. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.08935-1. Epub 2018 Jul 23.

Effects of exercise intervention on visceral fat in obese children and adolescents.

Author information

1
Department of Kinesiology, College of Health Sciences, University of Louisiana Monroe, Monroe, LA, USA.
2
Department of Counseling, Health, and Kinesiology, College of Education and Human Development, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA.
3
School of Biological Sciences, College of Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA.
4
Department of Nutrition and Kinesiology, College of Health, Science & Technology, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO, USA.
5
Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, The University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS, USA.
6
School of Biological Sciences, College of Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA - slee@tamusa.edu.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

This meta-analysis study was aimed to assess the effects of exercise intervention on visceral fat in obese children and adolescents.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION:

Electronic database searches were performed in Academic Search Complete, CINAHL, Healthsource, MEDLINE, and SportDiscus, and from the earliest record to November 2017. Keywords included "exercise or training," "visceral fat," and "child or adolescent or youth." The inclusion criteria for eligible studies were as follows: 1) subjects were obese at baseline; 2) aged 6-19 years; 3) visceral fat was reported at baseline and after an intervention; and 4) studies were published in peer-reviewed journals written in English.

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS:

A total of 207 studies were observed at the initial search and 73 effect sizes (ESs) were derived from the 34 selected studies. The overall exercise intervention effect was large (Cohen's d [ES]=-1.003, 95% CI=-1.114, -0.892). Moderator analyses results showed that gender (Qb=8.23, df=2, P=0.016), exercise type (Qb=10.68, df=2, P=0.005), and intervention length (Qb=24.71, df=2, P<0.001) influenced the overall ES.

CONCLUSIONS:

The group of both boys and girls (ES=-0.95) who participated combined exercise program (Aerobic + Resistance training; ES=-1.17) for 12 months (ES=-1.24) appeared to be the most effective exercise strategy for reducing visceral fat in obese youth.

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