To examine the role of ventilatory constraint on cardiorespiratory fitness in obese adolescents.
Thirty obese adolescents performed a maximal incremental cycling exercise and were divided into 2 groups based on maximal oxygen uptake (VO2peak): those presenting low (L; n = 15; VO2peak: 72.9 ± 8.6% predicted) or normal (N; n = 15; VO2peak: 113.6 ± 19.2% predicted) cardiorespiratory fitness. Both were compared with a group of healthy controls (C; n = 20; VO2peak: 103.1 ± 11.2% predicted). Ventilatory responses were explored using the flow volume loop method.
Cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2peak, in % predicted) was lower in L compared with C and N and was moderately associated with the percent predicted forced vital capacity (FVC) (r = .52; p < .05) in L. At peak exercise, end inspiratory point was lower in L compared with N and C (77.4 ± 8.1, 86.4 ± 7.7, and 89.9 ± 7.6% FVC in L, N, and C, respectively; p < .05), suggesting an increased risk of ventilatory constraint in L, although at peak exercise this difference could be attributed to the lower maximal ventilation in L.
Forced vital capacity and ventilatory strategy to incremental exercise slightly differed between N and L. These results suggest a modest participation of ventilatory factors to exercise intolerance.