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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1040-1045

The effects of an exercise training program on body composition and aerobic capacity parameters in Tunisian obese children

1 Department of Endocrinology, Hedi Chaker Hospital; Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, Jarzouna Bizerte, Tunisia
2 Department of Endocrinology, Hedi Chaker Hospital, Jarzouna Bizerte, Tunisia
3 Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Habib Bourguiba Hospital, Sfax, Tunisia
4 Higher Institute of Sport and Physical Education, Sfax, Tunisia

Correspondence Address:
Mahdi Kamoun
Department of Endocrinology, Hedi Chaker Hospital, Magida Boulila Avenue, 3029 Sfax
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.122619

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Background: The prevalence of children obesity is rising alarmingly in both developed and developing countries. Developing effective exercise programs is a strategy for decreasing this prevalence and limiting obesity-associated long-term comorbidities. Objectives: To determine whether a 16-week training program; in addition to the school physical education and without dietary intervention; could have beneficial effects on body composition and aerobic capacity of obese children. Materials and Methods: Twenty-eight obese children (16 boys, 12 girls; aged 12-14 years) were enrolled and were divided into either the exercise group (EG, n = 14) or the control group (CG, n = 14). EG participated in a 16-week aerobic exercises (four 60-min sessions per week at 70-85% of HRmax (maximum heart rate)), in addition to the school physical education. Fat-Free Mass (FFM) and Fat Mass (FM) were assessed with bioelectrical impedance equipment. To assess aerobic capacity, maximal metabolic equivalent of task (METmax) and maximal workload (Wmax) were estimated with an electronically braked cycle ergometer (type Ergoline 500® ). Results: At baseline, there were no differences between the two groups. After the training program, only the EG showed significant reduction in BMI (body mass index) and waist circumference compared with the baseline values (P < 0.001). Exercise training significantly decreased FM only in the EG. A significant increase in FFM was seen in both groups; more marked in the EG. There was a significant increase in METmax (P < 0.05) and Wmax (P = 0.02) in the EG, and no significant changes in these parameters were seen in the CG. HRmax significantly decreased only in the EG (P < 0.05). Conclusion: This training program has beneficial effects on body composition and aerobic capacity parameters in obese children. Our intervention has the advantage of providing a sustainable and reproducible school and community approach for the management of children obesity.

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