Is your child a couch potato?
With the obesity epidemic sweeping the western world and making its way down under, parents looking to find the most effective ways to keep their kids healthy now have the answer.
A recent study by SoJung Lee of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that physical activity (in absence of diet) for obese boys and girls reduced total fat, visceral fat and liver fat, as well as improved the fitness of their heart and lungs. Lee and her colleagues focussed on 44 obese girls between the ages of 12 and 16 and compared aerobic exercise and weight lifting over three months to remaining sedentary, finding that girls who performed only aerobic exercise had significant reductions in visceral fat and liver fat, as well as improvements in insulin sensitivity.
The study published by the American Physiological Society and demonstrates that results can be seen even if diet is unchanged but physical activity is increased. This is good news for parents wo struggle to convince their children to change their diet, however it must be noted that diet and exercise is still the most effective combination for cutting weight and improving health. The researchers also noted that, anecdotally, girls seemed to enjoy their aerobic workouts more than resistance exercise. They found conversely, that boys enjoyed the resistance training over aerobics.
S. Lee, A. R. Deldin, D. White, Y. Kim, I. Libman, M. Rivera-Vega, J. L. Kuk, S. Sandoval, C. Boesch, S. Arslanian.Aerobic exercise but not resistance exercise reduces intrahepatic lipid content and visceral fat and improves insulin sensitivity in obese adolescent girls. AJP: Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2013; DOI:10.1152/ajpendo.00285.2013