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David Thivel and Pascale Duché

Although physical activity is primarily considered for its effects on energy expenditure for prevention and treatment of both overweight and obesity, its role in the regulation and control of energy balance seems more complex. Not only does physical activity affect energy expenditure, it also leads to modifications in energy intake and appetite that have been identified in children and that should be considered for weight loss. It also appears that it may not systematically favor increased energy expenditure due to individual differences in compensatory responses. This brief paper summarizes the pediatric evidence regarding those potential compensatory responses to physical activity and suggests that these compensatory responses of increasing physical activity levels may depend on children’s adiposity status.

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Anthony Birat, David Sebillaud, Pierre Bourdier, Eric Doré, Pascale Duché, Anthony J. Blazevich, Dimitrios Patikas and Sébastien Ratel

Purpose: To examine the effect of drop height on vertical jumping performance in children with respect to sex and maturity status. Methods: Thirty-seven pre-pubertal, 71 circa-pubertal, and 69 post-pubertal boys and girls performed, in a randomized order, 2 squat jumps, 2 countermovement jumps, and 2 drop jumps (DJ) from heights of 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, and 70 cm. The trial with the best jump height in each test was used for analysis. Results: No significant sex × maturity status × jump type interaction for jump height was observed. However, on average, the children jumped higher in the countermovement jump than in squat jump and DJs (+1.2 and +1.6 cm, P < .001, respectively), with no significant differences between DJs and squat jumps or between DJs when increasing drop heights. Regarding DJs, 59.3% of the participants jumped higher from drop heights of 20 to 40 cm. Conclusions: Children, independent of sex and maturity status, performed best in the countermovement jump, and no performance gain was obtained by dropping from heights of 20 to 70 cm. During maturation, the use of drop heights between 20 and 40 cm may be considered in plyometric training, but the optimum height must be obtained individually.