Cardiovascular Risk

Research Reveals Significant Reduction In Cardiovascular Risk Among Obese Children After Just 5 Months Of Exercise Program


A recent study conducted by researchers from the Department of Physical Education and Sports at the University of Granada (UGR), in collaboration with pediatricians from the Pediatric Endocrinology Unit of the Virgen de las Nieves University Hospital in Granada, along with national and international partners, has demonstrated the positive impact of regular physical exercise on the health and physical fitness of schoolchildren. The findings of the study, published in JAMA Network Open, highlight that participating in a five-month exercise program led to a decrease in cardiometabolic risk factors, LDL cholesterol levels, body mass index, fat mass, visceral fat, and an improvement in aerobic capacity among the children.

Francisco B. Ortega, a professor at the UGR’s Department of Physical Education and Sports and the principal investigator of the project, emphasized that nearly 80% of the children who completed the exercise program witnessed a notable reduction in total fat content following the program. Additionally, a significant number of schoolchildren who were initially at a high risk of metabolic syndrome were able to transition out of this risk category as a result of engaging in the physical exercise regimen.

Jairo H. Migueles, a member of the Department of Physical Education and Sports at the UGR and one of the primary investigators of the study, noted that both boys and girls demonstrated an improvement in physical fitness, moving from poor to optimal levels, particularly in terms of aerobic capacity. The exercise program incorporated group games and simple activities like running on an outdoor track and moderate to high-intensity strength exercises, making it feasible for implementation in school or after-school settings.

Cristina Cadenas Sánchez, another researcher involved in the study, underscored the significance of integrating physical activity into the management of childhood obesity to mitigate metabolic complications and promote overall well-being. The rising prevalence of obesity and excess weight in children worldwide, including in Spain, underscores the urgency of addressing this public health issue. With 1 in 3 children globally affected by excess weight, there is a growing concern about the associated risks, such as cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes, which can impact the quality of life and functional abilities of affected children.

The study’s findings underscore the importance of early intervention through structured physical activity programs in counteracting the health risks associated with childhood obesity and emphasize the potential for significant improvements in cardiovascular health and overall well-being with consistent exercise participation among obese children.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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