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Amy E. Mark and Ian Janssen

Background:

Despite the plethora of research examining the physical activity-adiposity relation in youth, questions remain regarding the ideal intensity. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the independent effects of physical activity intensity and incidental movement on total and trunk adiposity.

Methods:

The sample consisted of 1165 youth aged 8 to 17 years from the 2003−04 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Physical activity (low, moderate, vigorous intensity) and incidental movement (activity level when not physically active) were measured using Actigraph accelerometers over 7 days. Total body and trunk fat were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry; age- and sex-specific percentile scores were calculated.

Results:

Bivariate analyses revealed an inverse relation between total, low, moderate and vigorous intensity physical activity with total body and trunk fat. After consideration of the total volume of physical activity in the multivariate analyses, moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity remained significantly related to total and trunk fat. Participants with the highest (top 12.5%) moderate-to-vigorous intensity activity values had total fat percentile scores that were 34 points lower than participants with the lowest (bottom 25%) values.

Conclusion:

These results are consistent with public health guidelines which recommend that children and youth participate in moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity.

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Alex S. Ribeiro, Fábio Luiz C. Pina, Soraya R. Dodero, Danilo R. P. Silva, Brad J. Schoenfeld, Paulo Sugihara Júnior, Rodrigo R. Fernandes, Décio S. Barbosa, Edilson S. Cyrino and Julio Tirapegui

The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of 8 weeks of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) supplementation associated with aerobic exercise on body fat and lipid profile on obese women. We performed a randomized, double-blinded and placebo-controlled trial with 28 obese women who received 3.2 g/day of CLA or 4 g/day of olive oil (placebo group) while performing an 8-week protocol of aerobic exercise. Dietary intake (food record), body fat (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), and biochemical analysis (blood sample) were assessed before and after the intervention period. Independent of CLA supplementation, both groups improved (p < .05) oxygen uptake (CLA group, 13.2%; PLC group, 14.8%), trunk fat (CLA group, −1.0%; PLC group, −0.5%), leg fat (CLA group, −1.0%; PLC group, −1.6%), and total body fat (CLA group, −1.7%; PLC group, −1.3%) after the 8-week intervention. No main effect or Group × Time interaction was found for total cholesterol, triglycerides, and plasma lipoproteins (p > .05). We conclude that CLA supplementation associated with aerobic exercise has no effect on body fat reduction and lipid profile improvements over placebo in young adult obese women.

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Sakiho Miyauchi, Satomi Oshima, Meiko Asaka, Hiroshi Kawano, Suguru Torii and Mitsuru Higuchi

The purpose of this study was to determine whether overfeeding and high-intensity physical training increase organ mass. We examined this question using cross-sectional and longitudinal studies in which we measured collegiate male American football players. Freshman (n = 10) and senior players in their second and third years of college (n = 17) participated in the cross-sectional study. The same measurements of the same freshman players (n = 10) were assessed after the one-year weight gain period in the longitudinal study. Fat-free mass (FFM), skeletal muscle, and adipose tissue mass were obtained using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Liver, kidney, brain, and heart volumes were calculated using magnetic resonance imaging or echocardiography. Compared with the freshman players, the senior players had 10.8 kg more FFM, and 0.29 kg, 0.08 kg, and 0.09 kg greater liver, heart, and kidney mass, respectively. In the longitudinal study, FFM, liver, heart, and kidney mass of the freshman players increased by 5.2 kg, 0.2 kg, 0.04 kg, and 0.04 kg, respectively, after one year of overfeeding and physical training. On the other hand, the organ-tissue mass to FFM ratio did not change, except for the brain, in either the cross-sectional or longitudinal studies. Our results indicated that the organtissue masses increased with overfeeding and physical training in male collegiate American football players.

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Johann C. Bilsborough, Thomas Kempton, Kate Greenway, Justin Cordy and Aaron J. Coutts

Purpose:

To compare development and variations in body composition of early-, mid-, and late-career professional Australian Football (AF) players over 3 successive seasons.

Methods:

Regional and total-body composition (body mass [BM], fat mass [FM], fat-free soft-tissue mass [FFSTM], and bone mineral content [BMC]) were assessed 4 times, at the same time of each season—start preseason (SP), end preseason (EP), midseason (MS), and end season (ES)—from 22 professional AF players using pencil-beam dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Nutritional intake for each player was evaluated concomitantly using 3-d food diaries. Players were classified according to their age at the beginning of the observational period as either early- (<21 y, n = 8), mid- (21 to 25 y, n = 9), or late- (>25 y, n = 5) career athletes.

Results:

Early-career players had lower FFSTM, BMC, and BM than mid- and late-career throughout. FM and %FM had greatest variability, particularly in the early-career players. FM reduced and FFSTM increased from SP to EP, while FM and FFSTM decreased from EP to MS. FM increased and FFSTM decreased from MS to ES, while FM and FFSTM increased during the off-season.

Conclusions:

Early-career players may benefit from greater emphasis on specific nutrition and resistance-training strategies aimed at increasing FFSTM, while all players should balance training and diet toward the end of season to minimize increases in FM.

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Thomas B. Walker, Jessica Smith, Monica Herrera, Breck Lebegue, Andrea Pinchak and Joseph Fischer

The purpose of this study was to investigate the ability of whey-protein and leucine supplementation to enhance physical and cognitive performance and body composition. Thirty moderately fit participants completed a modified Air Force fitness test, a computer-based cognition test, and a dual-energy X-ray-absorptiometry scan for body composition before and after supplementing their daily diet for 8 wk with either 19.7 g of whey protein and 6.2 g leucine (WPL) or a calorie-equivalent placebo (P). Bench-press performance increased significantly from Week 1 to Week 8 in the WPL group, whereas the increase in the P group was not significant. Push-up performance increased significantly for WPL, and P showed a nonsignificant increase. Total mass, fat-free mass, and lean body mass all increased significantly in the WPL group but showed no change in the P group. No differences were observed within or between groups for crunches, chin-ups, 3-mile-run time, or cognition. The authors conclude that supplementing with whey protein and leucine may provide an advantage to people whose performance benefits from increased upper body strength and/or lean body mass.

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Linda B. Houtkooper, Veronica A. Mullins, Scott B. Going, C. Harmon Brown and Timothy G. Lohman

This study characterized body composition profiles of elite American heptathletes and cross-validated skinfold (SKF) and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) field method equations for estimation of percent body fat (%Fat) using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) as the criterion. Weight, height, fat mass (FM), fat-free mass (FFM), bone mineral density (BMD), and %Fat were measured in 19 heptathletes using standard measurement protocols for DXA, SKFs and BIA. The ages, heights, and weights were respectively 25.5 ± 3.5 years, 175.0 ± 6.6 cm, 67.3 ± 7.1 kg. DXA estimates of mean ± SD values for body composition variables were 57.2 ± 6.1 kg FFM, 10.1 ± 2.6 kg FM, 114 ± 7% BMD for age/racial reference group, and 15 ± 3.0 %Fat. Ranges of bias values for %Fat (DXA minus SKF or BIA) were, respectively, −0.5 to 1.6% and −5.5 to −1.2%. Ranges for standard errors of estimate and total errors were, respectively, SKF 2.4–2.5%, 2.4–2.8% and BIA 3.0%, 5.0–6.5%. Regression analyses of the field methods on DXA were significant (p < .05) for all SKF equations but not BIA equations. This study demonstrates that elite American heptathletes are lean, have high levels of BMD, and that SKF equations provide more accurate estimates of %Fat relative to DXA than estimates from BIA equations.

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Han C.G. Kemper

This paper reviews the growth and development of skeletal mass in youth and the effects of physical activity upon the bone mass in young people. The different methods to measure the bone mass are described such as anthropometrics, radiographics, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, quantitative computed tomography, and ultrasound. Two different mechanisms are important for the formation and plasticity of bone: a central hormonal mechanism (with estrogen production) and a local mechanism (based on mechanical forces of gravity and muscle contractions). This local mechanism is closely connected to physical activity patterns and therefore discussed in more detail. Thereafter the natural course of the development of the bone mass during youth is described, taking into account the pubertal stages of boys and girls and also the age at which the maximal bone mass (peak bone mineral density) will be reached. The last part is devoted to the effects of physical activity on bone mass based on results of randomized controlled trials. Although the number of experimental studies are scarce, significant effects of weight bearing activity and high impact strength training programs are shown on the side specific bone mineral density in both boys and girls.

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Herculina S. Kruger, Lize Havemann-Nel, Chrisna Ravyse, Sarah J. Moss and Michael Tieland

Background:

Black women are believed to be genetically less predisposed to age-related sarcopenia. The objective of this study was to investigate lifestyle factors associated with sarcopenia in black South African (SA) urban women.

Methods:

In a cross-sectional study, 247 women (mean age 57 y) were randomly selected. Anthropometric and sociodemographic variables, dietary intakes, and physical activity were measured. Activity was also measured by combined accelerometery/heart rate monitoring (ActiHeart), and HIV status was tested. Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry was used to measure appendicular skeletal mass (ASM). Sarcopenia was defined according to a recently derived SA cutpoint of ASM index (ASM/height squared) < 4.94 kg/m2.

Results:

In total, 8.9% of the women were sarcopenic, decreasing to 8.1% after exclusion of participants who were HIV positive. In multiple regressions with ASM index, grip strength, and gait speed, respectively, as dependent variables, only activity energy expenditure (β = .27) was significantly associated with ASM index. Age (β = –.50) and activity energy expenditure (β = .17) were significantly associated with gait speed. Age (β = –.11) and lean mass (β = .21) were significantly associated with handgrip strength.

Conclusions:

Sarcopenia was prevalent among these SA women and was associated with low physical activity energy expenditure.

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Michael J. Davies, Gail P. Dalsky and Paul M. Vanderburgh

This study employed allometry to scale maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2 max) by body mass (BM) and lean body mass (LBM) in healthy older men. Ratio standards (ml · kg−1 · min−1) derived by dividing absolute V̇O2 max (L · min−1) by BM or LBM often fail to control for the body size variable. The subjects were 73 older men (mean ± SD: age = 69.7 ± 4.3 yrs, BM = 80.2 ± 9.6 kg, height = 174.1 ± 6.9 cm). V̇O2 max was assessed on a treadmill with the modified Balke protocol (V̇O2 max = 2.2 ± 0.4 L · min−1). Body fat (27.7 ± 6.4%) was assessed with dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Allometry applied to BM and V̇O2 max determined the BM exponent to be 0.43, suggesting that heavier older men are being penalized when ratio standards are used. Allometric scaling applied to LBM revealed the LBM exponent to be 1.05 (not different from the ratio standard exponent of 1.0). These data suggest that the use of ratio standards to evaluate aerobic fitness in older men penalized fatter older men but not those with higher LBM.

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Nai-Hsin Meng, Chia-Ing Li, Chiu-Shong Liu, Wen-Yuan Lin, Chih-Hsueh Lin, Chin-Kai Chang, Tsai-Chung Li and Cheng-Chieh Lin

Objectives:

To compare muscle strength and physical performance among subjects with and without sarcopenia of different definitions.

Design:

A population-based cross-sectional study.

Participants:

857 community residents aged 65 years or older.

Methods:

Sarcopenia was defined according to the European Working Group of Sarcopenia in Older People consensus criteria. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry measured lean soft tissue mass. Sarcopenic participants with low height-adjusted or weight-adjusted skeletal muscle index (SMI) were classified as having h-sarcopenia or w-sarcopenia, respectively. Combined sarcopenia (c-sarcopenia) was defined as having either h- or w-sarcopenia. The participants underwent six physical performance tests: walking speed, timed up-and-go, six-minute walk, single-leg stance, timed chair stands, and flexibility test. The strength of five muscle groups was measured.

Results:

Participants with h-sarcopenia had lower weight, body mass index (BMI), fat mass, and absolute muscle strength (p ≤ .001); those with w-sarcopenia had higher weight, BMI, fat mass (p < .001), and low relative muscle strength (p ≤ .003). Participants with c-sarcopenia had poorer performance in all physical performance tests, whereas h-sarcopenia and w-sarcopenia were associated with poor performance in four tests.

Conclusion:

Subjects with h- and w-sarcopenia differ significantly in terms of obesity indicators. Combining height- and weight-adjusted SMIs can be a feasible method to define sarcopenia.