Effects of strength training on intra-abdominal adipose tissue in obese prepubertal girls

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1998 Dec;30(12):1738-43. doi: 10.1097/00005768-199812000-00013.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / anatomy & histology*
  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adipose Tissue / diagnostic imaging
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Composition
  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Muscle, Skeletal / anatomy & histology
  • Obesity / diagnostic imaging
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / pathology*
  • Puberty
  • Radiography, Abdominal
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Weight Lifting / education
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Glucose