In a recent article published in Jama Network Open, researchers performed a secondary analysis of the ActiveBrains randomized clinical trial (RCT) in Granada, Spain, between November 1, 2014, and June 30, 2016, with two primary goals.
First, they evaluated whether a 20-week exercise program improved the cardiometabolic and mental health of children with obesity. Second, they explored how the observed effects changed for each child participant.
The ActiveBrains RCT evaluated the effects of exercise on the mental health of eight-to-11-year-olds with obesity. These children did not suffer from attention deficit, hyperactivity, or physical issues. Due to more than 90% of participants being categorized as White, race or ethnicity were not considered to be important covariates. Participants were recruited mainly at the hospitals.
By offering physical, psychological, and cognitive benefits, exercise has become an essential component of obesity treatment programs, which is a leading cause of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in pediatric populations worldwide.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of previous trials in children with obesity has demonstrated that measuring cardiometabolic risk as a composite measure of adiposity, blood lipid levels, blood pressure (BP), and metabolism during childhood is an early predictor of CVD in adolescents than the presence of metabolic syndrome.
Exercise improves visceral fat, high- and low-density lipoprotein (HDL\LDL) cholesterol levels, insulin resistance (IR), BP, body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), and self-worth. Yet, data on the holistic benefits of exercise and the exercise response variability in obese children is limited.
The article “What Are the Parallel Effects of Exercise on Cardiometabolic and Mental Health in Children with an Excess of Adiposity?” explores the significant benefits of exercise on the physical and mental well-being of children dealing with excess adiposity. The study highlights the positive impact of physical activity on both cardiometabolic health and mental wellness in this vulnerable population.
Researchers found that regular exercise not only helps improve cardiovascular health in children with excess adiposity but also has notable effects on their mental health. Engaging in physical activity was linked to reduced levels of stress, anxiety, and depression, which are often prevalent among children facing weight-related issues.
The study emphasizes the importance of promoting physical activity as an integrated approach to combat obesity and its associated complications. Encouraging children to exercise regularly can significantly improve their health and well-being, leading to long-term positive outcomes.
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