Three publications were selected based on the strength of the research questions, but also because they represent different research designs that are used with varying degrees of frequency in the pediatric literature. The first, a prospective, longitudinal cohort observation study from 7 to 16 years with girls and boys reports an intrinsic reduction in absolute resting energy expenditure after adjustment for lean mass, fat mass, and biological maturity. The authors suggest this could be related to evolutionary energy conservation, but may be problematic now that food energy availability is so abundant. The second focuses on the effect of acute exercise on neutrophil reactive oxygen species production and inflammatory markers in independent groups of healthy boys and men. The authors suggested the boys experienced a “sensitized” neutrophil response stimulated by the exercise bout compared with the men; moreover, the findings provided information necessary to design future trials in this important field. In the final study, a dose-response design was used to examine titrated doses of high intensity interval training on cardiometabolic outcomes in adolescent boys. While the authors were unable to identify a recognizable dose-response relationship, there are several design strengths in this study, which was probably underpowered.
Tolfrey and Smallcombe are with the School of Sport, Exercise & Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK. Zakrzewski-Fruer is with the University of Bedfordshire, Luton, UK.