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Rachel Massie, James Smallcombe and Keith Tolfrey

Purpose: Chronic exercise programs can induce adaptive compensatory behavioral responses through increased energy intake (EI) and/or decreased free-living physical activity in adults. These responses can negate the benefits of an exercise-induced energy deficit; however, it is unclear whether young people experience similar responses. This study examined whether exercise-induced compensation occurs in adolescent girls. Methods: Twenty-three adolescent girls, heterogeneous for weight status, completed the study. Eleven adolescent girls aged 13 years completed a 12-week supervised exercise intervention (EX). Twelve body size–matched girls comprised the nonexercise control group (CON). Body composition, EI, free-living energy expenditure (EE), and peak oxygen uptake (V˙O2) were measured repeatedly over the intervention. Results: Laboratory EI (EX: 9027, 9610, and 9243 kJ·d−1 and CON: 9953, 9770, and 10,052 kJ·d−1 at 0, 12, and 18 wk, respectively; effect size [ES] = 0.26, P = .46) and free-living EI (EX: 7288, 6412, and 5273, 4916 kJ·d−1 and CON: 7227, 7128, and 6470, 6337 kJ·d−1 at 0, 6, 12, and 18 wk, respectively; ES ≤ 0.26, P = .90) did not change significantly over time and were similar between groups across the duration of the study. Free-living EE was higher in EX than CON (13,295 vs 12,115 kJ·d−1, ES ≥ 0.88, P ≥ .16), but no significant condition by time interactions were observed (P ≥ .17). Conclusion: The current findings indicate that compensatory changes in EI and EE behaviors did not occur at a group level within a small cohort of adolescent girls. However, analysis at the individual level highlights large interindividual variability in behaviors, which suggests a larger study may be prudent to extend this initial exploratory research.

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Keith Tolfrey, Julia K. Zakrzewski-Fruer and James Smallcombe

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.