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Alice Emily Thackray, Laura Ann Barrett and Keith Tolfrey

Eleven healthy girls (mean ± SD: age 12.1 ± 0.6 years) completed three 2-day conditions in a counterbalanced, crossover design. On day 1, participants either walked at 60 (2)% peak oxygen uptake (energy deficit 1.55[0.20] MJ), restricted food energy intake (energy deficit 1.51[0.25] MJ) or rested. On day 2, capillary blood samples were taken at predetermined intervals throughout the 6.5 hr postprandial period before, and following, the ingestion of standardized breakfast and lunch meals. Fasting plasma triacylglycerol concentrations (TAG) was 29% and 13% lower than rest control in moderate-intensity exercise (effect size [ES] = 1.39, p = .01) and energy-intake restriction (ES = 0.57, p = .02) respectively; moderate-intensity exercise was 19% lower than energy-intake restriction (ES = 0.82, p = .06). The moderate-intensity exercise total area under the TAG versus time curve was 21% and 13% lower than rest control (ES = 0.71, p = .004) and energy-intake restriction (ES = 0.39, p = .06) respectively; energy-intake restriction was marginally lower than rest control (-10%; ES = 0.32, p = .12). An exercise-induced energy deficit elicited a greater reduction in fasting plasma TAG with a trend for a larger attenuation in postprandial plasma TAG than an isoenergetic diet-induced energy deficit in healthy girls.

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Keith Tolfrey, Alice Emily Thackray and Laura Ann Barrett

Exaggerated postprandial triacylglycerol concentrations (TAG) independently predict future cardiovascular events. Acute exercise and diet interventions attenuate postprandial TAG in adults. This paper aims to examine the exercise postprandial lipemia studies published to date in young people. Nine studies satisfied the inclusion criteria adopted for this summary. The majority of studies are in boys (22% girls) and have shown a single ~60-min session of moderate-intensity exercise, performed 12-18 hours before a standardized meal, reduces postprandial TAG. Manipulations of exercise duration and intensity suggest an exercise energy expenditure dose-dependent response is not supported directly in healthy young people. Studies investigating alternative exercise bouts have reported lower postprandial TAG after simulated intermittent games activity, high-intensity interval running and cumulative 10-min blocks over several hours, which may appeal to the spontaneous physical activity habits of young people. Although extension of these initial findings is warranted, exercise may be an effective strategy to promote regular benefits in TAG metabolism in children and adolescents; this may contribute to an improved cardiovascular disease risk profile early in life.

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Keith Tolfrey, Julia Kirstey Zakrzewski-Fruer and Alice Emily Thackray

Two publications were selected because they are excellent representations of studies examining different ends of the exercise-sedentary behavior continuum in young people. The first study is an acute response study with 13 mixed-sex, mid to late adolescents presenting complete data from 4 different randomized experimental crossover conditions for analyses. Continuous glucose monitoring showed that interrupting prolonged continuous sitting with body-weight resistance exercises reduced the postprandial glucose concentration compared with a time-matched uninterrupted period of sitting. Furthermore, the effects of the breaks in sitting time were independent of the energy content of the standardized meals, but variations in the area under the glucose time curves expression were important. The second study adopted a chronic 12-week exercise training intervention design with a large sample of obese children and adolescents who were allocated randomly to high-intensity interval training (HIIT), moderate-intensity continuous training, or nutritional advice groups. HIIT was the most efficacious for improving cardiorespiratory fitness compared with the other interventions; however, cardiometabolic biomarkers and visceral/subcutaneous adipose tissue did not change meaningfully in any group over the 12 weeks. Attrition rates from both HIIT and moderate-intensity continuous training groups reduce the validity of the exercise training comparison, yet this still provides a solid platform for future research comparisons using HIIT in young people.