Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of strength training on fat distribution and its relationship to glucose tolerance in obese prepubertal girls.
Methods: A strength training intervention study was designed in which the children exercised three times per week for 5 months. Twelve healthy, obese prepubertal girls (ages 7-10 yr, > 95th percentile weight for height) were enrolled in the study. Body composition was measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and computed tomography, and glucose tolerance was measured by a 3-h oral glucose tolerance test at baseline and after training.
Results: Significant increases in height, weight, fat-free mass, fat mass, and subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue occurred after training (P < 0.05), whereas intra-abdominal adipose tissue (IAAT) remained stable (N = 11). Insulin area was highly correlated with IAAT before (r = 0.91) and after (r = 0.90) training (both P < 0.01, N = 9).
Conclusion: In growing obese prepubertal girls undergoing a strength training program, IAAT remains unchanged, whereas subcutaneous abdominal fat and total body fat increased; insulin area is related to IAAT in these children.