American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN (Print): 2333-4592 ISSN (Online): 2333-4606 Website: Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
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American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2014, 2(1), 40-47
DOI: 10.12691/ajssm-2-1-8
Open AccessResearch Article

Impact of a Strength Training Exercise Program on Body Composition and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in a Group of Obese Schoolchildren by Pubertal Stage

Fabian Vasquez1, , Erik Diaz1, Lydia Lera1, Loretta Vasquez1, Alyerina Anziani1 and Raquel Burrows1

1Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile

Pub. Date: February 12, 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Exercise in Prevention of Obesity in Children)

Cite this paper:
Fabian Vasquez, Erik Diaz, Lydia Lera, Loretta Vasquez, Alyerina Anziani and Raquel Burrows. Impact of a Strength Training Exercise Program on Body Composition and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in a Group of Obese Schoolchildren by Pubertal Stage. American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2014; 2(1):40-47. doi: 10.12691/ajssm-2-1-8


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a strength training exercise intervention on body composition and cardiovascular risk factors in obese children, by pubertal stage. The sample included 60 obese schoolchildren of both genders, aged 8 to 13 years, recruited from a school in the city of Santiago (Chile). The intervention included physical exercise (strength training 3 times per week), during 3 months. Multi-compartmental body composition was estimated using isotopic dilution, plethysmography, radiographic absorptiometry and 4C model as the gold standard. Presence of metabolic syndrome was diagnosed according to Cook criteria and cardiovascular risk factors were determined using anthropometric and biochemical indicators. We found differences in schoolchildren in pubertal stages III & IV. Compared to girls, boys showed significant reductions in body fat in kg and percentage (4-Component model) and isotopic dilution in kg (p < 0,05). Likewise, we observed an increase in the fat-free mass in kg, in the 4-Component Model (p < 0,01). In all groups, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome decreased from baseline to 3 months, but the reduction was significant only among boys of Tanner I & II (p = 0.03). Only this group showed a significant reduction in the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors from baseline to 3 months (p = 0.02). This study provides evidence on the positive impact of a strength training physical exercise program on reductions of body fat, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular risk factors, supporting the use of exercise as a treatment for obesity and its comorbidities in schoolchildren.

obese schoolchildren strength training exercise metabolic syndrome cardiovascular risk factors

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