Aerobic Training Performed at Ventilatory Threshold Improves Psychological Outcomes in Adolescents With Obesity

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: Physical activity may be as effective as some drugs for improving psychological outcomes; however, vigorous exercise may be needed for improving these outcomes in adolescents with obesity. The aim of this study is to examine the effects of low- and high-intensity training on self-esteem and symptoms of depression and anxiety in adolescents with obesity. Methods: A total of 62 pubertal adolescents with obesity (age 15 [1.5] y, body mass index 34.87 [4.22] kg/m2) were randomized into high-intensity group (HIG, n = 31) or low-intensity group (LIG, n = 31) for 24 weeks. All participants also received nutritional, psychological, and clinical counseling. Body composition and measures of depressive symptoms, anxiety, and self-esteem were assessed at baseline and after 24 weeks. Results: Depressive symptoms decreased significantly in both HIG (d = 1.16) and LIG (d = 0.45) (P ≤ .01). Trait anxiety decreased after 24 weeks for HIG (d = 0.81, P = .002) and LIG (d = 0.31, P = .002). No changes were observed in state anxiety or self-esteem. Conclusions: Results from the present study demonstrate that 24 weeks of multidisciplinary intervention improves depression and anxiety symptoms in adolescents with obesity; however, the magnitude of changes is higher in HIG compared with LIG.

Fidelix is with the University of Pernambuco, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil. Lofrano-Prado is with the University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Fortes is with the Federal University of Paraiba, Joao Pessoa, Brazil. Caldwell is with the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, Denver, CO. Hill is with the University of Alabama Birmingham, Department of Nutrition Sciences, Birmingham, AL. Botero and do Prado are with the Human Movement Science and Rehabilitation graduate program, Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Santos, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

do Prado (wagner.prado@unifesp.br and wagner.prado@pq.cnpq.br) is corresponding author.
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