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Wendell C. Taylor, Walker S. Carlos Poston, Lovell Jones and M. Katherine Kraft

Background:

The term “environmental justice” refers to efforts to address the disproportionate exposure to and burden of harmful environmental conditions experienced by low-income and racial/ethnic minority populations.

Methods:

Based on computer and manual searches, this paper presents a review of articles in the published literature that discuss disparities in physical activity, dietary habits, and obesity among different populations.

Results:

This paper provides evidence that economically disadvantaged and racial/ethnic minority populations have substantial environmental challenges to overcome to become physically active, to acquire healthy dietary habits, and to maintain a healthy weight. For example, residents living in poorer areas have more environmental barriers to overcome to be physically active.

Conclusions:

We propose a research agenda to specifically address environmental justice with regard to improving physical activity, dietary habits, and weight patterns.

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Miguel Camões, Andreia Oliveira and Carla Lopes

Objective:

Evaluate the role of different types of physical activity (PA) and diet on overall and central obesity incidence.

Methods:

A cohort study with 1621 adults was conducted in an urban Portuguese population. Anthropometrics were objectively obtained during 1999−2003 and 2005−2008. Overall, obesity was defined by a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30.0 kg/m2 and central obesity by a waist circumference (WC) > 88.0 cm in women and >102.0 cm in men. Usual PA and dietary intake were assessed using validated questionnaires. Analyses of obesity incidence were conducted through different types of PA and a “healthy” dietary score.

Results:

Significant inverse associations were found between leisure-time PA and obesity incidence, namely among subjects classified into the last tertile of energy expenditure, who had approximately a 40% lower risk of developing the disease. Despite higher energy intakes, individuals with a high Physical Activity Level (PAL > 1.60) were significantly protected against obesity incidence, relative risks (RR) = 0.25 (0.09−0.72) and RR = 0.47(0.27−0.94), for overall and central obesity, respectively. No significant associations were found between dietary score and obesity incidence rates.

Conclusions:

In our population, leisure-time PA played a significant role in preventing obesity. In both overall and central obesity, PAL above 60% of the resting metabolic rate and moderate energy intake seem to strike the right balance to prevent obesity.

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Shaea A. Alkahtani, Nuala M. Byrne, Andrew P. Hills and Neil A. King

Purpose:

Compensatory responses may attenuate the effectiveness of exercise training in weight management. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of moderate- and high-intensity interval training on eating behavior compensation.

Methods:

Using a crossover design, 10 overweight and obese men participated in 4-week moderate (MIIT) and high (HIIT) intensity interval training. MIIT consisted of 5-min cycling stages at ±20% of mechanical work at 45%VO2peak, and HIIT consisted of alternate 30-s work at 90%VO2peak and 30-s rests, for 30 to 45 min. Assessments included a constant-load exercise test at 45%VO2peak for 45 min followed by 60-min recovery. Appetite sensations were measured during the exercise test using a Visual Analog Scale. Food preferences (liking and wanting) were assessed using a computer-based paradigm, and this paradigm uses 20 photographic food stimuli varying along two dimensions, fat (high or low) and taste (sweet or nonsweet). An ad libitum test meal was provided after the constant-load exercise test.

Results:

Exerciseinduced hunger and desire to eat decreased after HIIT, and the difference between MIIT and HIIT in desire to eat approached significance (p = .07). Exercise-induced liking for high-fat nonsweet food tended to increase after MIIT and decreased after HIIT (p = .09). Fat intake decreased by 16% after HIIT, and increased by 38% after MIIT, with the difference between MIIT and HIIT approaching significance (p = .07).

Conclusions:

This study provides evidence that energy intake compensation differs between MIIT and HIIT.

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Danielle L. Templeton, Aaron S. Kelly, Julia Steinberger and Donald R. Dengel

We assessed relative bone mineral content (BMC) in normal-weight (BMI < 85th percentile), overweight (BMI ≥ 85th—< 95th percentile), and obese (BMI ≥ 95th percentile) adolescents and evaluated the impact of nonweight bearing stationary cycle exercise training in a subset of obese participants. Obese and overweight adolescents had higher (p = .001) BMC than normal-weight counterparts, but after adjusting for total body mass the overweight and obese adolescents had a significantly lower (p < .001) BMC than normal-weight subjects. Although aerobic training such as cycling would seem optimal for caloric expenditure in obese adolescents, this study showed that eight weeks of cycle training did not improve BMC in obese adolescents. Weight-bearing aerobic exercise would be a better option for optimizing bone health in this population.

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Geneviève Rail

The recent construction of a so-called “obesity epidemic” has been fueled by epidemiologically-based studies recuperated by the media and suggestions of the rapid acceleration of obesity rates in the Western world. Studies linking obesity to ill-health have also exploded and greatly impacted our “physical” culture. In this article, I present a series of postcards to summarize the dominant obesity discourse and document the rhetorical terrain of the impending epidemic. I also offer counter-postcards to dispute the postcards’ objective postulations and contextualize the birth of what I call the “Obesity Clinic.” I then characterize this polymorphous clinic as an apparatus of capture sustained by biomedicalization, bioeconomics, and biocultural discourses and speak to its regulation and abjection of unruly (fat) bodies. I conclude with a few reflections about the territorializing nature of the Obesity Clinic as well as what it means for individuals and, more generally, for physical culture and its study.

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Hala Youssef, Carole Groussard, Sophie Lemoine-Morel, Christophe Jacob, Elie Moussa, Abdallah Fazah, Jean-Claude Pineau, Joel Pincemail, Josiane Cillard and Arlette Delamarche

This study aimed to determine whether aerobic training could reduce lipid peroxidation and inflammation at rest and after maximal exhaustive exercise in overweight/obese adolescent girls. Thirty-nine adolescent girls (14-19 years old) were classified as nonobese or overweight/obese and then randomly assigned to either the nontrained or trained group (12-week multivariate aerobic training program). Measurements at the beginning of the experiment and at 3 months consisted of body composition, aerobic fitness (VO2peak) and the following blood assays: pre- and postexercise lipid peroxidation (15F2a-isoprostanes [F2-Isop], lipid hydroperoxide [ROOH], oxidized LDL [ox-LDL]) and inflammation (myeloperoxidase [MPO]) markers. In the overweight/obese group, the training program significantly increased their fat-free mass (FFM) and decreased their percentage of fat mass (%FM) and hip circumference but did not modify their VO2peak. Conversely, in the nontrained overweight/obese group, weight and %FM increased, and VO2peak decreased, during the same period. Training also prevented exercise-induced lipid peroxidation and/or inflammation in overweight/obese girls (F2-Isop, ROOH, ox-LDL, MPO). In addition, in the trained overweight/obese group, exercise-induced changes in ROOH, ox-LDL and F2-Isop were correlated with improvements in anthropometric parameters (waist-to-hip ratio, %FM and FFM). In conclusion aerobic training increased tolerance to exercise-induced oxidative stress in overweight/obese adolescent girls partly as a result of improved body composition.

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Eimear Keane, Xia Li, Janas M. Harrington, Anthony P. Fitzgerald, Ivan J. Perry and Patricia M. Kearney

Purpose:

Globally, public health policies are targeting modifiable lifestyle behaviors. We explore the independent association of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behavior on the risk of childhood overweight/obesity.

Method:

A cross-sectional survey of children aged 8–11 years (N = 826). Objective body mass index was used to classify children as normal weight or overweight/obese. Children wore wrist-worn Geneactiv accelerometers for 7-days and thresholds were applied to categorize MVPA and sedentary time. Screen time (ST) was parent reported. Poisson regression examined the independent association of (1) MVPA (2), objective sedentary time and (3) ST on the risk of overweight/obesity.

Results:

Overall, 23.7% (95% CI, 20.8–26.6%) of children were overweight/obese. On average, children spent 10.8% of waking time at MVPA and 61.3% sedentary. One-fifth (22.1%, 95% CI, 19.3–25.0%) of children achieved MVPA recommendations (≥ 60 min each day) and 17.5% (95% CI, 14.9–20.1%) met ST recommendations (<2 hr per day). Time spent at MVPA was inversely associated with the risk of overweight/obese independent of total sedentary time. Total time spent sedentary was not associated with overweight/obese independent of MVPA. ST was associated with an increased risk of overweight/obese independent of physical activity.

Conclusion:

Few schoolchildren met physical activity and screen time recommendations suggesting population based measures are needed.

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Lisa McDermott

A number of scholars have noted the increased social currency that a risk vocabulary has come to assume in late modernity. This vocabulary has been deployed in discourses o physical inactivity and obesity, wherein children have increasingly been identified as an at-risk population leading a sedentary lifestyle, which is culturally represented as a primary risk factor for obesity and ultimately ill health. This article explores the usefulness of Foucault’s governmental perspective in problematizing the function served and effects produced by a risk vocabulary within discourses and practices directed at intervening in the childhood inactivity and obesity epidemics with a specific focus on the Canadian context.

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Sijie Tan, Chunhua Yang and Jianxiong Wang

The purpose of this study was to apply the lactate threshold concept to develop a more evidence-informed exercise program for obese children. 60 obese children (26 girls and 34 boys, age: 9–10 years, BMI: 25.4 ± 2.2kg/m2) were recruited and half of them were randomly selected to be trained for eight weeks with a controlled exercise intensity at lactate threshold. The trained children achieved significant improvements on their body composition and functional capacity compared with the control group. The findings suggested that the training program with intensity at lactate threshold is effective and safe for 9–10 year old children with obesity.

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Jorge Mota, José Ribeiro, Maria Paula Santos and Helena Gomes

This study aimed to examine the relationship between obesity status (body mass index: BMI) and physical and sedentary activities in adolescents. The sample comprised 230 girls and 220 boys (14.6 years old, SD = 1.6). Physical Activity (PA) was assessed by a questionnaire. Sedentary behaviors, such as TV viewing, computer use, and commuting to and from school were analyzed. Participants were categorized as nonobese or overweight/obese according to age-adapted BMI. No significant differences were found in relation to PA characteristics or in TV watching on weekdays vs. weekends. Nonobese participants spent significantly less time using computers on weekends (p = .04) and weekdays (p = .025) than their overweight/obese counterparts. Logistic regression analysis showed that those who used computers on weekdays more than 4 hrs per day were likely (odds ratio: 5.79; p < .003) to be overweight or obese. This study identified a relationship between computer use, but not physical activity or TV viewing, and weight status among Portuguese adolescents.