Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Exercise improves thinking, reduces diabetes risk in overweight children

24.10.2007
Just three months of daily, vigorous physical activity in overweight children improves their thinking and reduces their diabetes risk, researchers say.

Studies of about 200 overweight, inactive children ages 7-11 also showed that a regular exercise program reduces body fat and improves bone density.

“Is exercise a magic wand that turns them into lean, healthy kids? No. They are still overweight but less so, with less fat, a healthier metabolism and an improved ability to handle life,” says Dr. Catherine Davis, clinical health psychologist at the Medical College of Georgia and lead investigator.

All study participants learned about healthy nutrition and the benefits of physical activity; one-third also exercised 20 minutes after school and another third exercised for 40 minutes. Children played hard, with running games, hula hoops and jump ropes, raising their heart rates to 79 percent of maximum, which is considered vigorous.

“Aerobic exercise training showed dose-response benefits on executive function (decision-making) and possibly math achievement, in overweight children,” researchers write in an abstract being presented during The Obesity Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting Oct. 20-24 in New Orleans. “Regular exercise may be a simple, important method of enhancing children’s cognitive and academic development. These results may persuade educators to implement vigorous physical activity curricula during a childhood obesity epidemic.”

Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies, which show the brain at work, were performed on a percentage of children in each group and found those who exercised had different patterns of brain activity during an executive function task.

“Look what good it does when they exercise,” says Dr. Davis. “This is an important public health issue we need to look at as a nation to help our children learn and keep them well.”

Unprecedented obesity and inactivity rates in America’s children are impacting health, including dramatic increases in the incidence of type 2 diabetes, a disease formerly known as adult-onset diabetes. Overweight children also have slightly lower school achievement, on average.

“We hope these findings will help persuade policymakers, schools and communities that time spent being physically active enhances, rather than detracts, from learning,” says Dr. Davis.

“There have been several studies that have shown that exercise produces kind of a selective effect, particularly with older adults, in cognitive tasks that require regulation of behaviors,” says Dr. Phillip D. Tomporowski, experimental psychologist at the University of Georgia and a key collaborator.

For this study, researchers gave the children tests that look at their decision-making processes. In the first such studies in children, the researchers found small to moderate improvements in children who exercised as well as a hint of increased math achievement.

“We have a number of studies conducted with animals that examined what influence physical activity has on blood flow, metabolic activity, brain function, glucose regulation, and they all demonstrate the same theme: that physical activity done on a regular basis has a protective effect,” says Dr. Tomporowski. “It doesn’t take too much to make the leap that it might influence developing children as well.”

Looking at the children’s insulin resistance, a precursor of type 2 diabetes in which it takes more insulin to convert glucose into energy, researchers found levels dropped 15 percent in the 20-minute exercise group and 21 percent in the 40-minute group. The control group stayed about the same.

“Increasing volume of regular aerobic exercise shows increased benefits on insulin resistance in overweight children, indicating reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, regardless of sex or race,” they write.

“We also know that if you stop exercising, you lose all the benefits,” adds Dr. Davis. “Exercise works if you do it.”

Adult studies have yielded comparable findings regarding exercise’s impact on insulin resistance and cognition.

The researchers tested oral glucose tolerance, measuring insulin response after children drank a small amount of glucose, before and after the studies. “Once your glucose levels start to rise, it’s called impaired glucose tolerance and that is a precursor of diabetes. It’s called pre-diabetes now,” says Dr. Davis, noting that overweight children typically have higher insulin resistance than their leaner peers. Insulin resistance is an early sign of diabetes risk that appears before glucose levels start to rise. Growth associated with puberty can temporarily increase insulin resistance, Dr. Davis notes, so because some of the children were beginning puberty, they made adjustments for the level of sex hormones.

DEXA scanning, which uses a small amount of radiation to quantify bone, tissue and fat, was used to accurately assess body composition. Executive function was measured using the Cognitive Assessment System and math skills using the Woodcock Johnson Test of Achievement III.

“If physical education were ideal, which it’s not – it’s not daily and it’s not active – then children could achieve this within the school day,” Dr. Davis says, pointing to benefits derived by children exercising just 20 minutes a day. “We are not there. To achieve maximum benefit, we were able to show it will take more than PE.”

The researchers are submitting grants that will enable further studies.

The studies were funded by the National Institute of Health.

Toni Baker | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mcg.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA examines Peru's deadly rainfall

24.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?

24.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Steep rise of the Bernese Alps

24.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>