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Francisco J. Ordonez, Gabriel Fornieles-Gonzalez, Alejandra Camacho, Miguel A. Rosety, Ignacio Rosety, Antonio J. Diaz and Manuel Rosety-Rodriguez

Recent studies have reported that obese young people with Down syndrome suffer from low-grade systemic inflammation. Whereas this condition may be improved in the general population by regular exercise, the problem has received no attention in the case of people with intellectual disability. Therefore, the authors’ aim was to assess the influence of aerobic training on plasma adipokines in obese women with Down syndrome. Twenty obese young women with Down syndrome volunteered for this study, 11 of whom were randomly assigned to a 10-wk aerobic-training program. They attended 3 sessions/wk, which consisted of warm-up exercises followed by the main activity on a treadmill (30–40 min) at a work intensity of 55–65% of peak heart rate and ended with a cooling-down period. The control group included 9 women with Down syndrome matched for age, sex, and body-mass index. Fat-mass percentage and distribution were measured, and plasma adipokine levels (leptin and adiponectin) were assessed. In addition, each participant performed a maximal graded continuous treadmill exercise test. These parameters were assessed pre- and postintervention. Aerobic training produced a significant increase in participants’ maximal oxygen uptake (20.2 ± 5.8 vs.23.7 ± 6.3 ml · kg−1 · min−1; p < .001), and plasma leptin levels were significantly reduced in the intervention group (54.2 ± 6.7 vs.45.7 ± 6.1 ng/ml; p = .026). Further significant correlations between plasma leptin and indices of obesity were found. In contrast, no significant changes were found in adiponectin levels (p > .05). None of the tested parameters changed in the control group. In conclusion, a 10-week training program reduced leptin levels in obese young women with Down syndrome.

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Scott Owens, Laurel Lambert, Suzanne McDonough, Kenneth Green and Mark Loftin

This pilot study examined the feasibility of an interactive obesity prevention program delivered to a class of fourth-grade students utilizing daily e-mail messages sent to the students’ home computers. The study involved a single intact class of 22 students, 17 (77%) of whom submitted parental permission documentation and received e-mail messages each school day over the course of one month. Concerns regarding Internet safety and children’s use of e-mail were addressed fairly easily. Cost/benefit issues for the school did not seem prohibitive. Providing e-mail access to students without a home computer was accomplished by loaning them personal digital assistant (PDA) devices. In larger interventions, loaning PDAs is probably not feasible economically, although cell phones may be an acceptable alternative. It was concluded that this type of interactive obesity prevention program is feasible from most perspectives. Data from a larger scale effectiveness study is still needed.

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Chia-Lin Li, Feng-Hsuan Liu and Jen-Der Lin

The purpose of this prospective study was to examine the effect of physical activity independent of obesity on metabolic risk factors. A total of 358 participants were recruited from the Department of Health Management of Chang Gung Medical Center. Physical activity was assessed using a 3-d activity record. Body-mass index (BMI) and metabolic risk factors were also assessed. Our findings demonstrate that an effect of obesity that was statistically independent of the levels of physical activity is associated with metabolic risk factors. Moreover, physical activity displayed inverse associations with triglycerides, and fasting plasma glucose and a positive association with HDL cholesterol. Those participants with time spent in moderate activity more than 0.5 h each day had significantly less risk of high fasting glucose. Significantly, these associations were independent of BMI.

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Robert G. McMurray and Peter A. Hosick

The study evaluated the interactions of puberty and obesity on substrate oxidation of overweight girls (n = 38) and boys (N = 35; BMI > 85th percentile) matched for gender, age, and puberty (pre/pubertal) with normal weight girls and boys. Metabolic rates (VO2) were obtained during rest and at 4, 5.6 and 8 k/h. Carbohydrate oxidation rates (mg/kgFFM/min) adjusted for % predicted VO2max, were higher for prepubertal OW children than pubertal children (p < .03). Fat oxidation rates were higher for NW prepubertal boys compared with other boys. Results indicate that OW children, regardless of gender or pubertal status, increase their carbohydrate oxidation rate to compensate for higher than normal metabolic rates. The effects of obesity on the substrate use is marginally related to puberty.

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Neeti Pathare, Kelly Piche, Andrea Nicosia and Esther Haskvitz


The purpose of this study was to examine physical activity (PA) levels of young children classified by body mass index (BMI) (nonoverweight, overweight, and obese) during physical education classes.


Participants included 82 children (45 boys, 37 girls; 7.5 ± 1.2 years). PA was determined by the number of steps measured with pedometers. Data were analyzed with a three-way ANOVA (BMI × grade × gender).


No interaction was observed. There was a significant main effect for BMI. Children in the nonoverweight group took more steps than the children in overweight and obese groups during physical education classes.


The findings suggest that differences existed in PA during physical education classes in young children dependent on their BMI.

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Johan Y.Y. Ng, Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani and Nikos Ntoumanis

We examined motivation contagion in a hypothetical exercise setting. Exercise science students (n = 164) were provided with quotes of hypothetical male and female obese exercisers displaying different quality of motivation to start an exercise program. We used a 3 (exerciser motivation) × 2 (exerciser gender) × 2 (student gender) between-subjects experimental design to examine students’ (a) motivation to instruct, (b) interpersonal style, (c) perception of barrier efficacy of the exerciser, and (d) effort to identify factors that could maximize the effectiveness of an exercise program for the exerciser. Results showed that students displayed less controlled motivation and rated the exerciser as more capable of overcoming barriers to exercise when they perceived the exerciser to be autonomously motivated. However, students, particularly females, reported more autonomy support and invested more effort toward female exercisers with controlled motivation. Our findings indicate that motivation contagion effects are plausible in exercise settings and may affect interactions between fitness instructors and obese clients.

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Mindy Millard-Stafford, Jeffrey S. Becasen, Michael W. Beets, Allison J. Nihiser, Sarah M. Lee and Janet E. Fulton

A systematic review of literature was conducted to examine the association between changes in health-related fitness (e.g., aerobic capacity and muscular strength/endurance) and chronic disease risk factors in overweight and/or obese youth. Studies published from 2000–2010 were included if the physical activity intervention was a randomized controlled trial and reported changes in fitness and health outcomes by direction and significance (p < .05) of the effect. Aerobic capacity improved in 91% and muscular fitness improved in 82% of measures reported. Nearly all studies (32 of 33) reported improvement in at least one fitness test. Changes in outcomes related to adiposity, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, metabolic, and mental/emotional health improved in 60%, 32%, 53%, 41%, and 33% of comparisons studied, respectively. In conclusion, overweight and obese youth can improve physical fitness across a variety of test measures. When fitness improves, beneficial health effects are observed in some, but not all chronic disease risk factors.

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Pamela G. Bowen, Yvonne D. Eaves, David E. Vance and Linda D. Moneyham

African American women are more likely to be classified as overweight or obese than European American women and little is known about this phenomenon. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the lived experiences of overweight and obese African American older women living in the southern regions of the United States. Semistructured, audiotaped interviews were conducted to elicit narratives from nine participants. Interview data were transcribed verbatim and then coded and analyzed using Colaizzi’s phenomenological analysis framework. Three major categories emerged: impact of health conditions, incongruent perceptions, and the desire for independence. The focus of culturally appropriate interventions aimed at increasing physical activity for this group should incorporate activities that will help them remain independent, because weight loss is not a primary motivator.

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Erik Hemmingsson, Ulf Ekelund and Joanna Udden


The impact of walking and bicycling on insulin resistance (IR) in women with abdominal obesity is unclear.


Pooled analysis of data from a randomized trial on physically active commuting (bicycling + walking vs walking only) in women with abdominal obesity [n = 98; age:47.3 ± 7.6 yrs; waist circumference (WC):103.1 ± 7.8 cm]. Bicycling and walking data were collected during 7 consecutive days by trip meters (Trelock FC-410) and pedometers (Yamax digiwalker SW-200) at baseline, 2, 4, and 6 months. Owing to a skew distribution we analyzed bicycling as a binary dummy variable with a 10 km/week cut-off. Fasting serum insulin and homeostatic model assessment – insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were assessed at baseline and 6 months, as were body mass index (BMI), WC, and dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA)-assessed % whole-body fat.


Increased bicycling by 10 km/wk was associated with reductions in fasting serum insulin at follow-up independent of age, treatment allocation, baseline phenotype, Δ walking, and Δ % body fat (β = −10.9, P = .042), but not HOMA-IR (β = −2.0, P = .13). Increased walking was not associated with fasting serum insulin (P = .33) or HOMA-IR (P = .44) at follow-up, after adjustment for the same covariates and Δ bicycling.


Increased bicycling but not walking was associated with reduced insulin levels at follow-up. Bicycling may be more effective than walking for reducing insulin levels in abdominally obese women.

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Wagner L. Prado, P. Babu Balagopal, Mara C. Lofrano-Prado, Lila M. Oyama, Thiago Ricardo S., João Paulo Botero and James O. Hill

Exercise is implicated in modifying subsequent energy intake (EI) through alterations in hunger and/or satiety hormones. Our aim was to examine the effects of aerobic exercise on hunger, satiety regulatory peptides, and EI in obese adolescents. Nine obese girls (age: 13–18 years old, BMI: 33.74 ± 4.04 kg/m2) participated in this randomized controlled crossover study. Each participant randomly underwent 2 experimental protocols: control (seated for 150 min) and exercise (exercised for 30 min on a treadmill performed at ventilatory threshold [VT] intensity and then remained seated for 120 min). Leptin, peptide YY3–36 (PYY3–36), and subjective hunger were measured at baseline as well as 30 min and 150 min, followed by 24-hr EI measurement. Exercise session resulted in an acute increase in PYY3–36 (p < .01) without changes in leptin and/or hunger scores. The control session increased hunger scores (p < .01) and decreased circulating leptin levels (p = .03). There was a strong effect size for carbohydrate intake (d = 2.14) and a modest effect size for protein intake (d = 0.61) after the exercise compared with the control session. Exercise performed at VT intensity in this study appears to provoke a state of transient anorexia in obese girls. These changes may be linked to an increase in circulating PYY3–36 and maintenance of leptin levels.