Effects of a multidisciplinary weight loss intervention on anaerobic and aerobic aptitudes in severely obese adolescents

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To investigate if a multidisciplinary weight loss programme in adolescents suffering severe obesity allows an improvement of anaerobic and aerobic aptitudes.


In all, 55 adolescents (33 girls and 22 boys) suffering from severe obesity were enrolled in an interdisciplinary weight reduction programme lasting 6-12 months. Progressive submaximal physical activity was performed and national dietary allowances for adolescents with low levels of physical activity were provided.


Total and regional body composition and anaerobic aptitudes (handgrip strength (HGS), vertical jump height (VJH)) and aerobic aptitudes (maximal aerobic power (MAP), maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max)) were measured before and after weight loss.


The mean reduction of body mass index (BMI) was similar in girls (21.4±5.9%) and boys (23.7±6.4%). Fat mass (FM) steepest drop was observed in the trunk (−63.2±10.1% in boys and −51.5±11.4% in girls). The total lean mass (LM) did not vary in both sexes. Right HGS and VJH increased in both sexes (P<0.05), whereas left HGS increased only in boys. MAP and VO2max per kg BW increased (P< 0.0001) in both sexes (2.3±0.3 vs 1.7±0.3 W/kg and 32.8±4.5 vs 26.7±4.1 ml/min/kg in girls and 2.8±1.9 vs 1.9±0.4 W/kg and 39.1±6.3 vs 27.9±5.1 ml/min/kg in boys, respectively), whereas MAP and VO2max in absolute value and per kg LM increased only in boys (P=0.04). Total LM was the strongest determinant of HGS, VJH, MAP and VO2max in both sexes (P<0.005).


Multidisciplinary weight reduction programme including moderate dietary restriction in combination with regular physical training induced an improvement of anaerobic and aerobic aptitudes, a marked reduction of obesity and a preservation of LM in severely obese adolescents.

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