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This paper examined whether a two-year change in fitness, body mass index (BMI) or the additive effect of change in fitness and BMI were associated with change in cardiometabolic risk factors among youth. Cardiometabolic risk factors, BMI group (normal weight, overweight or obese) were obtained from participants at the start of 6th grade and end of 8th grade. Shuttle run laps were assessed and categorized in quintiles at both time points. Regression models were used to examine whether changes in obesity, fitness or the additive effect of change in BMI and fitness were associated with change in risk factors. There was strong evidence (p < .001) that change in BMI was associated with change in cardiometabolic risk factors. There was weaker evidence of a fitness effect, with some evidence that change in fitness was associated with change in total cholesterol, HDL-C, LDL-C and clustered risk score among boys, as well as HDL-C among girls. Male HDL-C was the only model for which there was some evidence of a BMI, fitness and additive BMI*fitness effect. Changing body mass is central to the reduction of youth cardiometabolic risk. Fitness effects were negligible once change in body mass had been taken into account.
Jago is with the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK. Drews is with the Biostatistics Center, George Washington University, Washington, DC. McMurray is with the Dept. of Exercise and Sport Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC. Baranowski is with the Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. Galassetti is with the Pediatrics & Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, University of California-Irvine, Irvine, CA. Foster is with the Center for Obesity Research and Education, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. Moe is with the Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland, OR. Buse is with the Dept. of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.