Consensus on the exercise protocol used to measure Fatmax (exercise intensity corresponding to maximum fat oxidation (MFO)) in children has not been reached. The present study compared Fatmax estimated using the 3 min incremental cycling protocol (3-INC) and a protocol consisting of several 10 min constant work rate exercise bouts (10-CWR) in 26 prepubertal children. Group Fatmax values were the same for 3-INC and 10-CWR (55% VO2peak) and 95% limits of agreement (LoA) were ± 7% VO2peak. Group MFO values were similar between protocols, although 95% LoA were -94 to 113 mg·min−1. While 3-INC provides a valid estimation of Fatmax compared with 10-CWR, caution should be exercised when estimating MFO in prepubertal children.
Julia Zakrzewski and Keith Tolfrey
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.
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.