Insulin secretion and its association with physical activity, fitness and screen time in children

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Feb;22(2):504-11. doi: 10.1002/oby.20619. Epub 2013 Oct 16.


Objectives: To determine the independent associations of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), fitness, screen time, and adiposity with insulin secretion in children.

Design and methods: Caucasian youth (n = 423/630), 8-10 years old, with at least one obese biological parent, were studied (QUALITY cohort). Insulin secretion was measured using HOMA2-%B, area under the curve (AUC) of insulin to glucose over the first 30 minutes (AUC I/G(t30min)) of the OGTT and AUC I/G(t120min) over 2 hours. Fitness was measured by VO₂peak ; percent fat mass (PFM) by DXA; 7-day MVPA by accelerometry; self-reported screen time included television, video game, or computer use. Models were adjusted for age, sex, season, puberty, PFM, and insulin sensitivity [IS] (HOMA2-IS, Matsuda-ISI).

Results: PFM was strongly associated with insulin secretion, even after adjustment for IS: for every 1% increase in PFM, insulin secretion increased from 0.3% to 0.8% across indices. MVPA was negatively associated with HOMA2-%B (P < 0.05), but not with OGTT-derived measures. Fitness was negatively associated with AUC I/G(t120min) (P < 0.05). Screen time showed a trend toward higher HOMA2-%B in girls (P = 0.060).

Conclusions: In children with an obese parent, lower insulin secretion is associated with lower adiposity, higher MVPA, better fitness, and possibly reduced screen time.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior*
  • Child Development*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Computers
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism*
  • Leisure Activities
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Quebec
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Television
  • Video Games


  • Insulin