The study evaluated the interactions of puberty and obesity on substrate oxidation of overweight girls (n = 38) and boys (N = 35; BMI > 85th percentile) matched for gender, age, and puberty (pre/pubertal) with normal weight girls and boys. Metabolic rates (VO2) were obtained during rest and at 4, 5.6 and 8 k/h. Carbohydrate oxidation rates (mg/kgFFM/min) adjusted for % predicted VO2max, were higher for prepubertal OW children than pubertal children (p < .03). Fat oxidation rates were higher for NW prepubertal boys compared with other boys. Results indicate that OW children, regardless of gender or pubertal status, increase their carbohydrate oxidation rate to compensate for higher than normal metabolic rates. The effects of obesity on the substrate use is marginally related to puberty.
McMurray and Hosick are with the Dept. of Exercise and Sport Science, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.