Effect of a short-term diet and exercise intervention on metabolic syndrome in overweight children.

Chen AK, Roberts CK, Barnard RJ.

Source

Department of Physiological Science, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.

Abstract

Overweight and the metabolic syndrome are increasing radically in children. The present study was designed to examine the effects of lifestyle modification in 16 children who were placed on a high-fiber, low-fat diet in a 2-week residential program where food was provided ad libitum and daily aerobic exercise was performed. In each subject, pre- and postintervention fasting blood was drawn. Insulin (27.2 +/- 3.5 vs 18.3 +/- 1.7 microU/mL, P < .01), homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (5.79 +/- 0.81 vs 4.13 +/- 0.38, P < .05), and body weight (92.0 +/- 7.0 vs 88.0 +/- 6.8 kg, P < .01) were reduced significantly. Total cholesterol (165 +/- 7.8 vs 127 +/- 7.4 mg/dL, P < .01), low-density lipoprotein (94.1 +/- 8.2 vs 68.5 +/- 6.7 mg/dL, P < .01), triglycerides (146 +/- 16.2 vs 88.1 +/- 8.1 mg/dL, P < .01), and total cholesterol-high-density lipoprotein (4.16 +/- 0.30 vs 3.34 +/- 0.30, P < .01) and low-density lipoprotein-high-density lipoprotein ratios (2.41 +/- 0.3 vs 1.86 +/- 0.2, P < .01) were reduced, with no change in high-density lipoprotein observed (42.3 +/- 2.4 vs 40.8 +/- 3.0 mg/dL). Systolic blood pressure (130 +/- 3.1 vs 117 +/- 1.8 mm Hg, P < .001) and diastolic blood pressure (74.3 +/- 3.0 vs 67.2 +/- 2.3 mm Hg, P = .01) also decreased. Most notably, before the intervention, 7 of the 16 subjects were classified with metabolic syndrome. After the 2-week intervention, despite remaining overweight, reversal of metabolic syndrome was noted in all 7 subjects. All of these changes occurred despite only modest improvements in the percentage of body fat (37.5% +/- 1.1% vs 36.4% +/- 1.2%, P < .01) and body mass index (33.2 +/- 1.9 vs 31.8 +/- 1.9 kg/m(2), P < .01). These results indicate that a short-term rigorous diet and exercise regimen can reverse metabolic syndrome, even in youth without documented atherosclerosis.