Physical fitness and the metabolic syndrome

Physical fitness and the metabolic syndrome

1 Data from studies of adults suggest that physical fitness and activity are important variables when considering risk of type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.

2 A school-based study of 589 young (age 9.6[+ or -]0.44 years) Danish children compared standard metabolic risk factors including blood pressure, insulin, and lipid profiles, and compared them to data on physical activity and fitness.

3 Physical activity was assessed using accelerometers and physical fitness using a maximum cycle ergometer test to exhaustion.

4 Metabolic risk was inversely correlated with physical activity.

5 Physical fitness was inversely correlated with insulin and triglyceride concentrations as well as systolic blood pressure and skinfold thickness.

6 Physical fitness modified the effect of physical inactivity on metabolic risk, i.e. those that were inactive but had a higher level of physical fitness had a lower metabolic risk score.

7 Physical inactivity per se could store up metabolic problems for children.

Brage S, Wedderkopp N, Ekelung U et al (2004) Features of the metabolic syndrome are associated with objectively measured physical activity and fitness in Danish children: the European Youth Heart Study. Diabetes Care 27: 2141-48

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