New Insights about How to Make an Intervention in Children and Adolescents with Metabolic Syndrome: Diet, Exercise vs. Changes in Body Composition. A Systematic Review of RCT

Nutrients. 2018 Jul 6;10(7):878. doi: 10.3390/nu10070878.


Objective: To record which interventions produce the greatest variations in body composition in patients ≤19 years old with metabolic syndrome (MS).

Method: search dates between 2005 and 2017 in peer reviewed journals, following the PRISMA method (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses). The selection criteria were: diagnostic for MS or at least a criterion for diagnosis; randomized clinical trials, ≤19 years of age; intervention programs that use diet and/or exercise as a tool (interventions showing an interest in body composition).

Results: 1781 clinical trials were identified under these criteria but only 0.51% were included. The most frequent characteristics of the selected clinical trials were that they used multidisciplinary interventions and were carried out in America. The most utilized parameters were BMI (body mass index) in kg/m² and BW (body weight) in kg.

Conclusions: Most of the clinical trials included had been diagnosed through at least 2 diagnostic criteria for MS. Multidisciplinary interventions obtained greater changes in body composition in patients with MS. This change was especially prevalent in the combinations of dietary interventions and physical exercise. It is proposed to follow the guidelines proposed for patients who are overweight, obese, or have diabetes type 2, and extrapolate these strategies as recommendations for future clinical trials designed for patients with MS.

Keywords: adolescents; body composition; children; diet; exercise; metabolic syndrome; weight and fat.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Age Factors
  • Body Composition*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Diet, Healthy*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diet therapy*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Pediatric Obesity / diagnosis
  • Pediatric Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Pediatric Obesity / epidemiology
  • Pediatric Obesity / physiopathology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult