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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: General versus central adiposity and relationship to pediatric metabolic risk

item Mendoza, Jason
item Nicklas, Theresa
item Liu, Yan
item Stuff, Janice
item Baranowski, Tom

Submitted to: Metabolic Syndrome and Disorders
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/13/2011
Publication Date: 3/20/2012
Citation: Mendoza, J.A., Nicklas, T.A., Liu, Y., Stuff, J., Baranowski, T. 2012. General versus central adiposity and relationship to pediatric metabolic risk. Metabolic Syndrome and Disorders. 10(2):128-136.

Interpretive Summary: Physical activity is important for disease prevention throughout the lifespan. Only 42% of US youth ages 6-11 yrs and fewer than 8% of ages 12-19 yrs meet the recommended amount of at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) daily. Our study aimed to look at the influence of MVPA and its impact on the pediatric metabolic risk. Greater waist circumference appeared to be consistently related to greater metabolic risk among US children and adolescents. Programs and policies aimed at increase MVPA should be a national priority for obesity prevention.

Technical Abstract: The influence of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and general versus central adiposity on pediatric metabolic risk is not well described. We conducted a secondary analyses on pediatric participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2003–2006 (n=2,155). MVPA (min/day) and adherence to MVPA recommendations were assessed objectively by accelerometers. Body mass index (BMI) z-score and waist circumference (WC) were measured by standard protocols. The main dependent variables included an overall metabolic risk score and clinical tests related to metabolic risk. A series of linear regression analyses were used to examine BMI z-score versus WC as a mediator of the relationship between MVPA and the metabolic risk score or the individual components, controlling for sociodemographic covariates. All analyses with BMI z-score as an independent variable controlled for WC and vice versa. The product-of-coefficients method was used to test for mediation. Our results showed that MVPA adherence was inversely associated and WC was positively associated with the metabolic risk score. Our conclusions are that MVPA correlated with pediatric metabolic risk and this relationship was mediated by central adiposity for CRP and HDL-C. This finding suggests the need for programs to screen for and improve children's MVPA and WC.

Last Modified: 06/21/2017
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