Effects of physical exercises and nutritional guidance on the cardiovascular risk profile of obese children

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the effects of a supervised physical exercise and nutritional guidance program, conducted with a playful basis, on the cardiovascular risk profile of obese children. METHODS: Forty-four children aged between 8 and 11 years, divided into two groups, were paired by gender and age: intervention group (n = 22) and control group (n = 22). The following parameters were measured before and after the intervention: body mass, height, waist circumference, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose, high-sensitive C-reactive protein, blood pressure, and carotid intimamedia thickness. Both groups continued their traditional medical treatment. The case group exercised with recreational activities three times a week during 12 weeks, and participated in a weekly nutritional guidance session. The control group did not participate in the intervention described. Descriptive statistics, paired and unpaired Student's t-test, Mann-Whitney's U test, and the Wilcoxon test were used, with a significance level of p < 0.05. RESULTS: 32 children concluded the study (16 in each group). At the end of the study, the case group showed a significant reduction in the body mass index (BMI) (p = 0.001), total cholesterol (p = 0.001), LDL cholesterol (p = 0.001), diastolic blood pressure (p = 0.010), and average (p = 0.003) and maximum (p = 0.002) carotid intima-media thickness. The control group showed a significant increase in waist circumference (p = 0.001), blood glucose (p = 0.025), C-reactive protein (p = 0.016), a reduction of HDL cholesterol (p = 0.012) and total cholesterol (p = 0.042), and an increase in the average (p = 0.012) and maximum (p = 0.024) carotid intima-media thickness. CONCLUSION: The program proved effective in the reduction of obesity indicators and of the intima-media thickness, a direct and early signal of atherosclerosis.

Cardiovascular diseases; Physical activities; Obesity; Child; Recreational

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