A recent study confirms that obese children and adolescents are prone to weaker bones than their normal-weight peers. Study findings also suggest combined nutrition-behavioural-physical activity intervention can help obese children lose weight and improve bone strength.
Researchers confirm that unlike obese adults, obese children have lower bone mineralization and lower bone strength.
The most recent study involving 24 obese children found that a three-month dietary and physical activity intervention improved body composition, fitness, and bone strength.
Twelve participants in the intervention group met with a dietitian six times during the three-month program. Intervention subjects also adopted a balanced low calorie diet, participated in supervised twice-weekly exercise sessions and were encouraged to walk on their own for 30 to 45 minutes at least once weekly.
The other 12 obese children, who served as comparisons, were referred for nutritional consultation at least once and were instructed to exercise three times per week on their own.
According to a report in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, the intervention group fared much better than the comparison group in terms of body weight and composition and bone strength.
The nutrition and exercise program led to noteworthy decreases in body mass index and body fat, an increase in physical fitness and improved bone strength.
Further research is needed to determine if a decreased BMI, increased physical fitness, or both resulted in the improved bone strength.
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