Study reveals strength training can decrease heart risks in children

April 1, 2014

Early strengthening activities can lead to a decrease in cardiometabolic health risks in children and adolescents, according to results of a new study by a Baylor University professor and a team of researchers.

Until recently, treatment for adolescent obesity and associated health problems has focused mostly on diet modifications and aerobic exercise such as walking or swimming.

But a recent research study appearing this month in Pediatrics by Paul M. Gordon, Ph.D., professor and chair of health, human performance and recreation department in Baylor's School of Education concludes that adding strength-building exercises will help adolescents reduce the risks of cardiometabolic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and other .

With these findings, the research team demonstrated for the first time that strength capacity is robustly associated with lower cardiometabolic risk in adolescents, even after controlling for the influence of BMI, participation, and .

The findings contradict a popular belief that only high BMI, low cardiorespiratory fitness, and excessive sedentary behaviors are the primary drivers of cardiometabolic abnormalities, Gordon said.

"Our study bolsters support for early strength acquisition and strategies to maintain healthy BMIs (body-mass index measurements) and body compositions among children and adolescents," Gordon said. "Unfortunately, to date, most clinical reports have focused on the safety or efficacy of in pediatrics, rather than its potential viability for health outcomes."

Gordon and his team of researchers collected data from over 1,400 boys and girls, ages 10-12. Results of the study showed that boys and girls with greater strength-to-body mass ratios had lower BMIs, lower percent body fat, smaller waist circumferences, higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness, and significantly lower clinical markers of risk.

To reach those conclusions, researchers used measurements of the child's cardiometabolic risk components – percentage of body fat, fasting glucose levels, blood pressure, plasma triglycerides levels and HDL cholesterol.

The research team examined numerous potential predictors of positive and negative , such as fitness, physiologic parameters and behavioral factors. "We were specifically interested in how BMI, physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular strength were related to the cardiometabolic risk," Gordon said.

Combined with other recent research, Gordon said the results of this study provide "strong support" for the use of strengthening exercises to supplement traditional weight loss interventions among pediatric populations.

Explore further: Brawn matters: Stronger adolescents and teens have less risk of diabetes, heart disease

More information: The study can be found at pediatrics.aappublications.org … 3-3169.full.pdf+html

Related Stories

Brawn matters: Stronger adolescents and teens have less risk of diabetes, heart disease

March 31, 2014
Adolescents with stronger muscles have a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes, according to a new study that examined the influence of muscle strength in sixth grade boys and girls.

Inadequate sleep predicts risk of heart disease, diabetes in obese adolescents

March 6, 2014
Obese adolescents not getting enough sleep? A study in today's The Journal of Pediatrics, shows they could be increasing their risk for developing diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Vigorous physical activity associated with reduced cardiometabolic risk factors in youth

September 10, 2012
A study of Canadian youth suggests that vigorous physical activity was associated with reduced cardiometabolic risk factors, such as body mass index z score (BMI-z), waist circumference, systolic blood pressure and increased ...

Direct fitness measures better predict cardiometabolic risk

February 21, 2014
(HealthDay)—Directly measured fitness is more strongly associated with cardiovascular risk than self-reported physical activity level, according to research published in the Feb. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Measuring waist circumference would improve the detection of children and adolescents with cardiometabolic risk

January 28, 2014
A study led by researchers from IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) and published in the journal Plos One concludes that including waist circumference measurements in clinical practice, together with the traditional ...

Study examines use of waist measures among overweight and obese adolescents

April 2, 2012
Waist measures (waist circumference, waist to height ratio) in conjunction with body mass index appear to be associated with lipid and blood pressure assessments among overweight and obese adolescents, according to a report ...

Recommended for you

At the cellular level, a child's loss of a father is associated with increased stress

July 18, 2017
The absence of a father—due to incarceration, death, separation or divorce—has adverse physical and behavioral consequences for a growing child. But little is known about the biological processes that underlie this link ...

New comparison chart sheds light on babies' tears

July 10, 2017
A chart that enables parents and clinicians to calculate if a baby is crying more than it should in the first three months of its life has been created by a Kingston University London researcher, following a study of colic ...

Blood of SIDS infants contains high levels of serotonin

July 3, 2017
Blood samples from infants who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) had high levels of serotonin, a chemical that carries signals along and between nerves, according to a study funded in part by the National Institutes ...

Is your child's 'penicillin allergy' real?

July 3, 2017
(HealthDay)—Many children suspected of being allergic to the inexpensive, first-line antibiotic penicillin actually aren't, new research indicates.

Probiotic supplements failed to prevent babies' infections

July 3, 2017
(HealthDay)—Probiotic supplements may not protect babies from catching colds or stomach bugs in day care, a new clinical trial suggests.

Starting school young can put child wellbeing at risk

June 22, 2017
New research has shown that the youngest pupils in each school year group could be at risk of worse mental health than their older classmates.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.