Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Physical Fitness and Parent-Reported Health Status and Leisure Time Activity of Polish Boys and Girls with Abdominal and Peripheral Obesity

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Physical Fitness and Parent-Reported Health Status and Leisure Time Activity of Polish Boys and Girls with Abdominal and Peripheral Obesity

Article excerpt


obesity is currently considered to be one of the most frequently occurring non-infectious diseases which impair the function of the entire body. In terms of the distribution of adipose tissue, a distinction is made between general obesity, where fat tissue is evenly distributed across the entire body; peripheral or gynoid obesity, in which excess fat is accumulated in the gluteal-femoral region; and abdominal or android obesity, where fat is deposited centrally, in the region of the abdomen (Vague, 1956). Peripheral obesity and abdominal obesity have different metabolic features. Persons with abdominal obesity are characterised by increased triacylglycerols, increased LDL cholesterol, and reduced HDL cholesterol in the plasma. Abdominal obesity is definitely more often accompanied by hypertension, type 2 diabetes, impaired fibrinolysis, and atherosclerotic diseases than peripheral obesity. on the other hand, peripheral obesity is associated with reduced resting metabolic rate. In persons with peripheral obesity, metabolic rate does not change significantly when body mass is reduced, whereas those with the abdominal type respond with a considerable reduction in adipose tissue when the energy balance is negative (Després, 2006; Zhang, Rexrode, van Dam, Li & Hu, 2008; Griffith, Younk & Davis, 2010).

Abdominal obesity, along with its consequences, has been studied in children and adolescents (McCarthy, Jarret, Emmett & Rogers, 2005). The literature provides much information concerning the morphofunctional development of obese children, reporting, among others, that compared to their peers with normal body weight, these children have lower physical fitness and activity levels, accompanied by a faster rate of physical development (Deforche et al., 2009; Mota, Ribeiro, Carvalho, Santos, &Martins, 2009; Mota, Ribeiro, Carvalho,& Santos, 2010; Andreasi, Michelin, Rinaldi, & Burini, 2010; Kim, & Lee, 2009; Janssen et al., 2005). However, the above issues are rarely considered with respect to the type of fat distribution. Therefore, the main aim of the study was to analyse the physical fitness as well as parent-reported health status and leisure time activity of children and youth aged 10-19 years with abdominal and peripheral obesity.

Material and methods


The study was conducted in 2009, and it included children and youth from Eastern Poland aged 10-19 years. The subjects were selected for the study using a two-stage sampling system. In the first stage, we chose seven rural schools and seven urban schools, in which three stages of education of children and youth were implemented (primary, lower secondary, and upper secondary). In the rural schools, we planned to include all students aged above 10 years in the study, whereas in urban schools, two classes were randomly selected for each of the calendar ages considered in the study.

Approximately 75% of parents consented to their children's participation in the research. Among these children, 6% refused to take part in the study, and 8.7% did not participate since they were absent from school or had a medical certificate exempting them from attending physical education classes. The research involved 3,383 girls and boys, which accounted for 60.3% of the planned number of research participants. The current analysis included data collected for 2,606 persons, since those recorded for persons with under- and overweight were excluded. The research was carried out at the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport in Biała Podlaska (Grant No. DS.116), after receiving the approval of the Bioethics Committee of the University of Physical Education in Warsaw.

Anthropometric measurements

The subjects' physical development was assessed based on measurements of height, weight, and waist circumference. The measurements were carried out using devices commonly applied in anthropological studies: height was determined using a Sieber Hegner & Co anthropometer, weight was measured with an electronic CAS medical scale, and waist circumference was measured using an anthropometric band. …

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