Impaired physical function associated with childhood obesity: How should we intervene?

Tsiros, Margarita, Buckley, Jonathan, Olds, Tim, Howe, Peter, Hills, Andrew P., Walkley, Jeff, Wood, Rachel E., Kagawa, Masaharu, Shield, Anthony, Taylor, Lara, Shultz, Sarah P., Grimshaw, Paul N., Grigg, Kane, & Coates, Alison (2016) Impaired physical function associated with childhood obesity: How should we intervene? Childhood Obesity, 12(2), pp. 126-134.

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  • Background

This study examined relationships between adiposity, physical functioning and physical activity.

  • Methods

Obese (N=107) and healthy-weight (N=132) children aged 10-13 years underwent assessments of percent body fat (%BF, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry), knee extensor strength (KE, isokinetic dynamometry), cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF, peak oxygen uptake by cycle ergometry), physical health-related quality of life (HRQOL), worst pain intensity and walking capacity [six-minute walk (6MWT)]. Structural equation modelling was used to assess relationships between variables.

  • Results

Moderate relationships were observed between %BF and 6MWT, KE strength corrected for mass and CRF relative to mass (r -.36 to -.69, P≤.007). Weak relationships were found between: %BF and physical HRQOL (r -.27, P=.008); CRF relative to mass and physical HRQOL (r -.24, P=.003); physical activity and 6MWT (r .17, P=.004). Squared multiple correlations showed that 29.6% variance in physical HRQOL was explained by %BF, pain and CRF relative to mass, while 28% variance in 6MWT was explained by %BF and physical activity.

  • Conclusions

It appears that children with a higher body fat percentage have poorer KE strength, CRF and overall physical functioning. Reducing percent fat appears to be the best target to improve functioning. However, a combined approach to intervention, targeting reductions in body fat percentage, pain and improvements in physical activity and CRF may assist physical functioning.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 90972
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.1089/chi.2015.0123
ISSN: 2153-2168
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 02 Dec 2015 23:30
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 13:01

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