Aerobic fitness and visceral adipose tissue in children

Acta Paediatr. 2006 Nov;95(11):1435-8. doi: 10.1080/08035250600643244.


Aim: To determine the relationship between aerobic fitness (peak VO2) and the volume of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) in children.

Methods: Participants were 30 males (13.7+/-0.5 y) and 22 females (13.5+/-0.5 y). Peak VO2 was determined using a continuous, incremental treadmill protocol to exhaustion. Abdominal VAT volume was measured by magnetic resonance imaging using multiple slices from vertebral levels L1-L5. Subcutaneous body fat measure was calculated as the sum of seven skinfolds (sigma7SKF).

Results: Females had significantly (p < or = 0.05) more VAT than males (1035+/-717.3 vs 678.6+/-361.5 cm3); however, male peak VO2 was higher (215+/-34 vs 182+/-20 ml/kg(0.61)/min). VAT was significantly (p < or = 0.05) negatively correlated with peak VO2 in both males (r = - 0.43) and females (r = - 0.45). Subcutaneous body fatness was significantly correlated with VAT in both males (r = 0.74) and females (r = 0.72), and was the single strongest determinant of VAT.

Conclusion: Aerobic fitness is significantly inversely related to VAT, but subcutaneous body fatness is the single strongest determinant of VAT in children aged 13-14 y.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat*
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*