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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: A one-year school-based diet/exercise intervention improves non-traditional disease biomarkers in Mexican-American children

item Mcfarlin, Brian -
item Johnston, Craig -
item Carpenter, Katie -
item Davidson, Tiffany -
item Moreno, Jennette -
item Strohacker, Kelly -
item Breslin, Whitney -
item Foreyt, John -

Submitted to: Maternal and Child Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2012
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Intervention programs taking place at schools have been found to treat childhood obesity in an effective way. These interventions have been shown to improve weight outcomes, but little is known about how they impact disease biomarkers. This study examined the impact of an established school-based intervention on Mexican-American children (12-14 years) who were participating in a larger clinical weight loss study. This intervention was focused on improving weight outcomes over a period of 12 months on non-traditional disease biomarkers. Blood samples were analyzed, and results showed that students who were in the intervention group significantly improved their disease biomarkers compared with students in the self-help condition. These improvements show that our school-based intervention is effective at not only improving weight outcomes but also reducing disease risk.

Technical Abstract: School-based interventions are an effective way to treat childhood obesity. The purpose of the present study was to biologically validate an established school-based intervention designed to reduce standardized body mass index (zBMI) over a period of 12 months. This intervention focused on a subset of Mexican-American children who were participating in a larger clinical weight loss study. Plasma samples were analysed from self-identified Mexican-American children (12-14 years) who were randomized to either a school-based intervention (IN, n = 152) or self-help control (CN, n = 69). Treatment was 4 days/week(-1) of exercise (45 min/day(-1)) and 1 day/week(-1) of nutritional counseling for 6 months. Fasting (greater than 8 h) blood samples were collected at baseline, 6 months (end of active intervention), and 12 months (6 months after the end of the active intervention). Plasma resistin, adiponectin, and leptin concentration were measured using a multiplex assay. Separate linear mixed models and a P less than 0.05 were used to test for significance. Significant group x time interactions were found for resistin (P less than 0.0001), adiponectin (P = 0.001), and leptin (P = 0.013). For resistin, IN was 12% lower at 6 months than CN. Adiponectin concentration in IN was greater at 6 months (26%) and 12 months (8%) than CN. Leptin concentration was 22% lower for IN at 12 months than CN. We have previously reported that our school-based intervention reduced zBMI and now report alterations in biologically relevant disease biomarkers. Some of the observed changes were only present at the end of the active intervention (resistin), while others persisted until 12 months (leptin and adiponectin). These changes underscore the effectiveness of our school-based intervention at not only improving zBMI but also reducing disease risk.

Last Modified: 7/23/2014
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