Improvement of aerobic fitness in obese children: a meta-analysis

Int J Pediatr Obes. 2011 Aug;6(3-4):169-77. doi: 10.3109/17477166.2011.579975. Epub 2011 Jun 8.


The purpose of this meta-analysis was to assess the effectiveness of diverse interventions in aerobic fitness adjusted for weight in obese children. A computerized search of seven databases was carried out using keywords. Effect sizes and 95% confidence intervals were calculated, and the heterogeneity of the studies was assessed using Cochran's Q statistic applied to the effect size means. Nine studies were selected for review as satisfying the inclusion criteria (n patients = 311). The conclusions of the meta-analysis were: (i) the programs based on aerobic exercise have a moderate positive effect on aerobic fitness; (ii) the programs based on aerobic exercise lasting more than 12 weeks (3000 minutes total exercise time) in three sessions per week (more than 60 min per session) obtain better results; (iii) overall, combined programs fail to achieve improvements in aerobic fitness; and (iv) few randomized clinical trials have been conducted.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / diagnosis
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome