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Karen S. Meaney, Melanie A. Hart, and L. Kent Griffin

Social-Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1986, 1999) served as the framework to explore overweight children’s perceptions of different physical activity settings. Participants were children (n = 67) enrolled in an after-school and summer program for overweight African-American and Hispanic-American children from low-income families. To gain insight into the children’s thoughts encompassing their participation in both the after school/summer program and their physical education classes at their respective elementary schools, all of the children individually participated in semistructured interviews. Children enjoyed their involvement in the after-school/summer program and described social, physical, and cognitive benefits related to their participation. Interview data also revealed children’s ideas and suggestions for adapting physical education to enhance participation in physical activity. Based on these results, instructional and management strategies focusing on promoting a nurturing environment in physical activity settings for all children (overweight and nonoverweight) are presented and discussed.

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Chien-Chih Chou, Kuan-Chou Chen, Mei-Yao Huang, Hsin-Yu Tu, and Chung-Ju Huang

overweight children and their intelligence quotient (IQ) test performance ( Li, 1995 ) as well as their academic achievement ( Taras & Potts-Datema, 2005 ). Moreover, emerging literature has presented increased evidence supporting the detrimental effect of obesity on EF, including attention, mental

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Oren Tirosh, Guy Orland, Alon Eliakim, Dan Nemet, and Nili Steinberg

, whether overweight children achieve similar shock attenuation levels as healthy-weight children when running. Childhood obesity was suggested to have a relationship with musculoskeletal injuries and pain. 8 de Luca et al 9 explored the influence of spinal pain on quality of life in 256 women with spinal

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Joseph Tkacz, Deborah Young-Hyman, Colleen A. Boyle, and Catherine L. Davis

This study tested the effect of a structured aerobic exercise program on anger expression in healthy overweight children. Overweight sedentary children were randomly assigned to an aerobic exercise program or a no-exercise control condition. All children completed the Pediatric Anger Expression Scale at baseline and posttest. Anger Out and Anger Expression scores were lower for the exercise condition at posttest. Fitness improvements contributed significantly to final models, and points earned for adherence correlated negatively with posttest Anger Out. An aerobic exercise program might be an effective strategy to reduce anger expression, including reduction of aggressive behavior, in overweight children.

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Christopher Kaufman, Aaron S. Kelly, Dan R. Kaiser, Julia Steinberger, and Donald R. Dengel

The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of an 8-week aerobic-exercise training program on ventilatory threshold and ventilatory efficiency in overweight children. Twenty overweight children (BMI > 85th percentile) performed a graded cycle exercise test at baseline and were then randomly assigned to 8 weeks of stationary cycling (n = 10) or a nonexercising control group (n = 10). Ventilatory variables were examined at ventilatory threshold (VT), which was determined via the Dmax method. After 8 weeks, significant improvements occurred in the exercise group compared with the control group for oxygen uptake at VT (exercise = 1.03 ± 0.13 to 1.32 ± 0.12 L/min vs. control = 1.20 ± 0.10 to 1.11 ± 0.10 L/min, p < .05) and ventilatory equivalent of carbon dioxide (VE/VCO2) at VT (exercise = 32.8 ± 0.80 to 31.0 ± 0.53 vs. control = 30.3 ± 0.88 to 31.7 ± 0.91, p < .05). Aerobic-exercise training might help reverse the decrements in cardiopulmonary function observed over time in overweight children.

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Justin P. Guilkey, Brandon Dykstra, Jennifer Erichsen, and Anthony D. Mahon


This study examined heart rate recovery (HRR) and heart rate variability (HRV) following maximal exercise in lean (<85th percentile age- and sex-BMI percentile; n = 11 (♂=5; ♀=6); 10.1 ± 0.7 years) and overweight (≥85th age- and sex-BMI percentile; n = 11 (♂=5; ♀=6); 10.5 ± 1.2 years) children.


Participants completed a 10-min rest, followed by a graded exercise test to maximal effort. HRV, in the time and frequency domains, was assessed during rest and recovery. Also during recovery, one-minute HRR and the time constant of a monoexponential line of best fit (HRRt) were determined.


There were no significant differences in one-minute HRR and HRRt between the lean (56 ± 7 beats∙min-1 and 160.4 ± 80.1 s, respectively) and overweight (51 ± 16 beats∙min-1 and 141.1 ± 58.1 s, respectively) groups. There also were no significant interactions between groups from rest to recovery for any HRV variables. Root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD) and high frequency power (HF) during recovery was 2.05 ± 0.49 ms and 3.30 ± 1.02 ms2 in the lean children, respectively. In the overweight children, RMSSD and HF were 1.88 ± 0.65 ms and 2.94 ± 1.27 ms2, respectively.


HRR and HRV findings suggest there are no differences in autonomic function during recovery from maximal exercise in lean and obese 8- to 12-year old children.

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Philip D. Tomporowski, Catherine L. Davis, Kate Lambourne, Mathew Gregoski, and Joseph Tkacz

The short-term aftereffects of a bout of moderate aerobic exercise were hypothesized to facilitate children’s executive functioning as measured by a visual task-switching test. Sixty-nine children (mean age = 9.2 years) who were overweight and inactive performed a category-decision task before and immediately following a 23-min bout of treadmill walking and, on another session, before and following a nonexercise period. The acute bout of physical activity did not influence the children’s global switch cost scores or error rates. Age-related differences in global switch cost scores, but not error scores, were obtained. These results, in concert with several studies conducted with adults, fail to confirm that single bouts of moderately intense physical activity influence mental processes involved in task switching.

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Jennifer M. Sacheck, Tara Nelson, Laura Ficker, Tamar Kafka, Julia Kuder, and Christina D. Economos

Amid the childhood obesity epidemic, understanding how organized sports participation contributes to meeting physical activity recommendations in children is important. Anthropometrics were measured in children (n = 111; 68% female, 9.1 ± 0.8yr) before one 50-min soccer match. Time spent at different physical activity intensity levels was examined using Actigraph accelerometers. 49% of the match time was spent in sedentary activity (25.4 ± 5.7 min), while 33% of the match (16.9 ± 4.7 min) was spent in moderate-to-vigorous activity (MVPA; p < .001). 22.5% of the children were overweight/obese and spent more time in sedentary activity (+3.2 ± 1.2 min; p < .05) and less time in MVPA (-3.0 ± 1.0 min; p < .01) compared with the normal weight children. These data demonstrate that playing an organized sport such as soccer only meets a portion (~25%) of the 60 min of MVPA recommended and even less of this recommendation is met by overweight/obese children.

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Kasper Salin, Mikko Huhtiniemi, Anthony Watt, Harto Hakonen, and Timo Jaakkola

( P  = .04). During the same period, obese children spent more time in LPA1 than normal-weight children ( P  = .02) and more time in LPA1 ( P  = .04) and LPA ( P  = .04) than overweight children. Again, normal-weight children spent more time in VPA than overweight ( P  = .01) and obese children ( P

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Daniel Arvidsson, Mark Fitch, Mark L. Hudes, Catrine Tudor-Locke, and Sharon E. Fleming


Different movement efficiency in overweight children may affect accelerometer output data. The purpose was to investigate the ability of accelerometers to assess physical activity intensity and number of steps in normal-weight compared with overweight children.


Eleven normal-weight and 14 overweight African American children walked at 2, 4, 5, and 6 km/h on a treadmill wearing Lifecorder, ActiGraph, RT3, and Biotrainer. Oxygen uptake was measured and steps manually counted. Fat free mass (FFM) was assessed from bioelectrical impedance analysis. Accelerometer counts and the individual linear regression lines of accelerometer counts versus VO2/FFM were evaluated, together with steps recorded by Lifecorder and Actigraph.


Correlations between accelerometer counts and VO2/FFM for all monitors were r ≥ .95 (P < .01). The accelerometer counts and their relationship to VO2/FFM did not generally differ significantly by body weight status. Lifecorder and Actigraph underestimated steps at 4, 5, and 6 km/h by less than 9%, but the error was up to −95% at 2 km/h.


All 4 accelerometers show high ability to assess physical activity intensity, and can be used to compare physical activity between normal-weight and overweight children. The Lifecorder and the ActiGraph showed high accuracy in assessing steps, providing speed of movement exceeded 2 km/h.