Substrate Oxidation Is Altered by Obesity During Submaximal Cycling in Prepubertal and Early Pubertal Children: A Quality Study

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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  • 1 Concordia University
  • | 2 Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal
  • | 3 Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center
  • | 4 Université de Montréal
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Background: To examine substrate oxidation in prepubertal and early pubertal children as a function of body weight, body composition, and sex during an exhaustive cycling test. Methods: This study included 320 children in prepubertal and early puberty (Tanner stage 1 or 2; n = 188 males) who completed a minimum of 4 stages (2–5 min/stage) of an adapted version of the McMaster exhaustive exercise protocol on an upright cycle ergometer. Substrate utilization, relative to individual VO2peak, was determined using VO2 and VCO2 data, obtained with breath-by-breath gas analysis during exercise. Results: Both peak (mg/kg lean body mass·min) and submaximal lipid oxidation (mg/kg lean body mass·min) were highest (P < .01) in children with healthy weight (HW), then overweight, and lowest in obese (OB). Both females with HW (compared with males with HW) and females with OB (compared with males with OB) had higher (P < .01) peak and submaximal lipid oxidation. In children with OB, fat-free mass correlated positively (P < .01) with submaximal lipid oxidation (r = .50). In contrast, in children with HW and overweight, fat-free mass correlated positively (P < .01) with carbohydrate oxidation (r = .52 and r = .47, respectively). Conclusion: Obesity during childhood may alter substrate oxidation during exercise. These results may have implications in the implementation of exercise programs in prepubertal or early puberty to control adiposity.

Santosa and Mathieu are co-senior authors. Delaney, Spatari, and Santosa are with the Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Applied Physiology, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada; the Metabolism, Obesity, and Nutrition Laboratory, PERFORM Centre, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada; and the Centre de recherche—Axe maladies chroniques, Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux du Nord-de-l’Ile-de-Montréal, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada. Henderson and Mathieu are with Research Center, Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center, Montréal, QC, Canada. Henderson is also with the Department of Pediatrics, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada. Mathieu is also with the École de Kinésiologie et des sciences de l’activité physique, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada.

Santosa (s.santosa@concordia.ca) is corresponding author.
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