Age- and gender-related variations of leg power output and body composition in severely obese children and adolescents

A. Sartorio, F. Agosti, A. De Col, Caludio L. Lafortuna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A low level of physical activity is considered to be both a determinant factor and a negative effect of childhood obesity, notably contributing to its development and maintenance, but the motor capabilities of obese children of different ages have scarcely been evaluated. The purpose of the study is to depict the general trends of muscle anaerobic performance in a cohort of obese Italian children. Three-hundred-six obese children (141 males, 165 females), aged 10-17 yr with body mass index (BIVII) range 28.9-62.0 kg/M2(mean BMI z-score: 2.71±0.56 SID; range: 1.6-4.5), were cross-sectionally studied. Lower limb maximal anaerobic power output (W) was assessed with the Margaria stair climbing test, and a consistent subgroup of 77 subjects (37 males, 40 females) was also selected for accessory study of body composition with bioimpedance analysis (BIA), in order to evaluate the relationships between fat-free mass (FFM) and W. In both genders, VV increased significantly for effect of age and degree of obesity [three-factor multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), p0.05), boys in the age groups 14-15 and 16-17 yr were more powerful than girls of th.e same age (p0.05). In the subgroup tested with BIA, the amount of FFM increased significantly [two-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA), p0.05), but higher in boys of older groups (post-hoc Tukey test, p≤0.001), so that all differences between age groups and genders disappeared (two-factor MANOVA) when W was expressed per unit FFM (p>0.05). A significant linear correlation was found between FFM and W, (R2=0.66, p,

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-54
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006


  • Bioelectric impedance analysis
  • Childhood obesity
  • Margaria test
  • Muscular anaerobic power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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