Objective: To determine whether body fatness, aerobic capacity, and fat distribution are associated with levels of cardiovascular risk factors in children.
Methods: Subjects (N = 57) were 7 to 11 years of age; their percentage of body fat ranged from 10% to 58%. The percentage of fat was measured with dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, maximal aerobic capacity was measured on a treadmill, fat distribution was expressed as the waist/hip circumference ratio, and blood pressures were measured with an automated monitor. Measurements of several lipoproteins and apoproteins were combined into one atherogenic index.
Results: The percentage of fat was related to the atherogenic index (p = 0.38; p > 0.01) and insulin level (p = 0.78; p > 0.001). Aerobic capacity was inversely related to the atherogenic index (p = -0.27; p > 0.05) and insulin level (p = -0.72; p > 0.001). The waist/hip ratio was not related to the risk factors, and blood pressures were not related to fatness or aerobic capacity. In multiple regression analyses, only fatness explained significant independent proportions of the variance in the atherogenic index and insulin level. After control for fatness, the black children had higher insulin levels (p > 0.05).
Conclusion: At early ages (7- to 11-year-old children), fatness was related to risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.