Effect of Physical Activity, Nutritional Education, and Consumption of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on Lipid, Physiological, and Anthropometric Profiles in a Pediatric Population

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

The aim of this study was to determine the effects of nutritional education and vigorous physical activity on health-related parameters.

Methods:

The sample group consisted of 134 children from 5 rurally located schools. Participants were divided between 5 different experimental groups: control group (CG), physical activity group (PA), nutritional education group (NE), combined intervention group (PA+NE), and a combined intervention group with additional substitution of normally used oil for extra virgin olive oil (EVOO; PA+NE+EVOO). The intervention consisted of 60 minute sessions of physical activity held twice a week as well as nutritional education sessions held over 6 months.

Results:

Students in the groups receiving physical activity reduced their fat percentage and increased their muscle mass post intervention. At posttest the lipid profile improved in all intervention groups. The proportion of macronutrients and dietary cholesterol improved in the groups receiving nutritional education. The posttest comparison showed significantly lower fat percentage, sum of skinfolds and waist circumference in NE relative to CG and PA relative to CG. Diastolic blood pressure and glycaemia were significantly lower in PA+NE+EVOO relative to CG.

Conclusion:

A school-based program consisting of nutritional education or nutritional education plus a physical activity program showed a positive effect on health-related parameters in children.

Muros (jjmuros@ugr.es), Rufián-Henares, and López-García de la Serrana are with the Dept of Food Science, School of Pharmacy, University of Granada, Granada, Spain. Zabala is with the Dept of Physical Education, School of Sport Science, University of Granada, Granada, Spain. Oliveras-López is with Dept of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Engineering, School of Sciences, University Pablo de Olavide, Seville, Spain. Bouzas is with Dept of Statistics and Operations Research, School of Pharmacy, University of Granada, Granada, Spain. Knox is with the School of Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine East Midlands, Leicestershire, United Kingdom.