Weight Status, Physical Activity, and Vascular Health in 9- to 12-Year-Old Children

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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The purpose of this study was to determine the independent and joint association of weight status and physical activity on resting blood pressure and C-reactive protein in children.


Participants were 174 (71 males, 103 females) children (mean age = 10.5 ± 0.4 yrs). Physical activity was self-reported, body mass index was calculated from measured height and body mass, and blood pressure was measured according to standard procedures. A subset of 91 children had C-reactive protein measured by fingerstick blood sample. Four weight/physical activity groups were created by cross tabulation of weight status classification and physical activity level.


The prevalence of low physical activity (< 5 days/wk moderate-vigorous activity) did not differ between overweight and normal weight children (50%). Physical activity was not correlated with C-reactive protein (r = 0.01; P = 0.91) and C-reactive protein was not significantly different between physical activity groups (P = 0.87). Physical activity did not modify the difference in blood pressure or C-reactive protein within weight categories.


Fatness (specifically overweight and obesity), but not physical activity, was shown to be associated with blood pressure and C-reactive protein levels in children. Physical activity did not attenuate blood pressure or C-reactive protein in overweight and obese children.

Hayes, Eisenmann, and Pfeiffer are with the Dept of Kinesiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. Carlson is with the Dept of Radiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.