The purposes of this article were to (1): review recent studies of relations between physical activity and cardiometabolic biomarkers of youths (2); highlight areas in which additional research is needed; and (3) make recommendations for preventive interventions. Observational studies show that youths who engage in high amounts of moderate-vigorous physical activity display a more favorable cardiometabolic biomarker profile than youths who engage in lesser amounts of moderate-vigorous physical activity. Intervention studies in obese youths show that favorable changes in biomarkers are produced by moderate-vigorous physical activity doses of 150–180 min/week. However, for nonobese youths, intervention studies suggest that such doses are not effective; higher moderate-vigorous physical activity doses of approximately 300 min/week seem necessary. Continuing a physically active lifestyle from childhood into the adult years will enable people to maintain less end-organ damage and lower rates of morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Gutin is with the Dept. of Nutrition, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, Dept. of Pediatrics and Physiology, Medical College of Georgia, and Dept. of Applied Physiology, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY. Owens is with the Dept. of Exercise Science, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS.