Changes in hepatic risk factors, metabolic variables, body composition, and physical fitness in obese children after a one-year weight loss program

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Sep;21(9):837-45. doi: 10.1515/JPEM.2008.21.9.837.


Obesity can cause insulin resistance and cardiovascular and liver disease. The aim of this study was to analyze changes in laboratory values, body composition, and physical fitness before and after a one-year weight loss program with nutritional education, psychological care, and physical exercise. Twenty-two obese children (16 boys, 6 girls; median age 11.9 [range 7-15] years; BMI SDS +2.4 [1.6-3.1]) participated in the program. Outcome measures included liver enzymes, insulin resistance (HOMA), lipids, body composition, physical strength and endurance. All children had an inverse HOMA/body composition correlation; Group 1 (reduced BMI SDS after one year) had lower triglycerides, liver enzymes and improved body composition and fitness (p < 0.05). Group 2 (unchanged or increased BMI SDS) had worse body composition and increased endurance and strength of trunk extension (p < 0.05). Weight loss reduced risk factors for liver disease and improved insulin sensitivity. Body composition proved useful as a non-invasive indicator for insulin sensitivity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Composition / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Diet
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology*
  • Liver Diseases / enzymology
  • Liver Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Liver Diseases / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Physical Endurance / physiology
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk Factors
  • Weight Loss / physiology*