Fitness, diet and coronary risk factors in a sample of southeastern U.S. children.

A. C. Perry, L. M. Tremblay, J. F. Signorile, T. A. Kaplan, P. C. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between physical fitness variables and nutrient intake to coronary risk factors (CRF) in a sample of children living in the Southeastern U.S. A total of 22 sixth-grade children of whom 10 were boys (mean age = 11.83 +/- 0.3) and 12 were girls (mean age 11.7 +/- 0.3) volunteered for this study. Results indicated that boys in comparison to girls weighed more (54.0 +/- 10.8 kg versus 42.1 +/- 8.0 kg; p < 0.05), had a higher body mass index (BMI) (23.6 +/- 2.7 versus 20.2 +/- 3.3; p < 0.05), a higher lean body mass (37.8 +/- 6.0 kg versus 30.7 +/- 3.8 kg; p < 0.01), and a higher systolic blood pressure (115.7 +/- 11.1 versus 106.4 +/- 8.1; p < .0001). There were, however, no significant gender differences in serum lipoproteins or nutrient intake. Stepwise multiple regression analyses indicated that physical fitness variables which included VO2max, one-mile run for time, grip strength, and leg strength could significantly predict resting diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (F = 3.06; p < 0.05) and percent body fat (F = 4.98; p < 0.01) in children. Analysis of food intake revealed that total and saturated fat, and carbohydrate intake could predict serum triglycerides (TG) (F = 5.18; p = 0.01) while total kilocalorie, fat, and carbohydrate intake could significantly predict percent body fat (F = 3.42; p < 0.03). These findings may be clinically relevant since both serum triglyceride levels and percent body fat were well above the 50th percentile according to U.S. norms. In summary, the present study showed that measurements of muscular strength in addition to aerobic fitness are associated with DBP and percent body fat in children. Furthermore, it is recommended that nutrient intake be used when evaluating CRF in children due to its ability to predict TG and percent body fat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-141
Number of pages9
JournalApplied human science : journal of physiological anthropology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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