Impaired physical function associated with childhood obesity: How should we intervene?

Tsiros, Margarita D. and Buckley, Jonathan D. and Olds, Timothy and Howe, Peter R. C. and Hills, Andrew P. and Walkley, Jeff and Wood, Rachel and Kagawa, Masaharu and Shield, Anthony and Taylor, Lara and Shultz, Sarah P. and Grimshaw, Paul N. and Grigg, Kaine and Coates, Alison M. (2016) Impaired physical function associated with childhood obesity: How should we intervene? Childhood Obesity, 12 (2). pp. 126-134. ISSN 2153-2168


Background: This study examined relationships between adiposity, physical functioning, and physical activity. Methods: Obese (N = 107) and healthy-weight (N = 132) children aged 10-13 years underwent assessments of percent body fat (%BF, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry); knee extensor strength (KE, isokinetic dynamometry); cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF, peak oxygen uptake by cycle ergometry); physical health-related quality of life (HRQOL); and worst pain intensity and walking capacity [six-minute walk (6MWT)]. Structural equation modelling was used to assess relationships between variables. Results: Moderate relationships were observed between %BF and (1) 6MWT, (2) KE strength corrected for mass, and (3) CRF relative to mass (r -0.36 to -0.69, p ≤ 0.007). Weak relationships were found between %BF and physical HRQOL (r -0.27, p = 0.008); CRF relative to mass and physical HRQOL (r -0.24, p = 0.003); physical activity and 6MWT (r 0.17, p = 0.004). Squared multiple correlations showed that 29.6% variance in physical HRQOL was explained by %BF, pain, and CRF relative to mass; while 28.0% variance in 6MWT was explained by %BF and physical activity. Conclusions: It appears that children with a higher body fat percentage have poorer KE strength, CRF, and overall physical functioning. Reducing percent fat appears to be the best target to improve functioning. However, a combined approach to intervention, targeting reductions in body fat percentage, reductions in pain, and improvements in physical activity and CRF may assist physical functioning.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2017 23:43
Last Modified: 13 May 2019 02:49
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine > 111499 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3215 Reproductive medicine > 321599 Reproductive medicine not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
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