Weight Lifting Can Help Overweight Teens Reduce Risk Of Diabetes
Teens at risk
of developing diabetes can prevent or delay its onset through strength
training exercise, a University of Southern California study has found.
by Michael Goran, PhD, professor of preventive medicine in the Keck
School of Medicine of USC, showed that overweight Latino teenage boys
who lifted weights twice per week for 16 weeks significantly reduced
their insulin resistance, a condition in which their bodies don't
respond to insulin and can't process sugars properly. Insulin
resistance is common in obese children and is a precursor of diabetes.
research has demonstrated that aerobic and resistance exercise is
effective in improving insulin sensitivity in adults, but no controlled
studies of resistance exercise had been done on overweight youth. Goran
and colleagues hypothesized that overweight teens would be more likely
to stick with a resistance training regimen compared to aerobic
exercise because it is less physically taxing and gives visible results
researchers chose to focus on Latino teens because they are at
particular risk for diabetes. About half of all Latino children born in
2000 are expected to develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime,
according to the Centers for Disease Control.
boys aged 14 to 17 lifted weights two times a week on gym equipment
guided by personal trainers. The trainers used increasing resistance
and fewer repetitions as the participants improved. While there was no
change in their total body fat mass, the percent body fat significantly
decreased and lean muscle mass increased in the resistance-training
group compared to the control group. Ninety-one percent of the
weight-lifting participants also significantly improved their insulin
that lifting weights is a good form of exercise that overweight teens
can excel at and benefit from," said Goran, who is also associate
director of the USC Institute for Health Promotion and Disease
Prevention Research. "Whether they lose weight or not is not important
– they still benefit by increasing muscle mass," he says.
research group is working on developing a home exercise routine that
teens could do with exercise bands and hand weights.
Based on the
results from this study, funded in part by the Thrasher Research Fund,
Goran is now conducting a larger study of the same type. That project
is funded by the National Institutes of Health, and has begun
recruiting overweight Latino and African-American girls and boys aged
14 to 18. That research will also incorporate nutrition education to
some of the participants.
The findings were published in the July issue of Medicine and Science of Sports Exercise.
Academic Achievement Higher Among Most Active Kids: Vigorous Physical Activity Linked To Better Grades.
participate in vigorous physical activity, such as sports, perform
better in school, according to a new study released by the American
College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
active kids more often have better grades, found the examination of
activity and physical education (PE) compared to academic achievement.
between activity and academic performance was most significant when
kids met Healthy People 2010 (HP2010) guidelines for vigorous activity
20 minutes a day, at least three days a week. Grades were not affected
among kids who were moderately active for 30 minutes at least five days
a week, the study researchers found.
The study was
conducted to determine the effect of physical education class
enrollment and overall physical activity on academic achievement.
middle school-aged students participated, all of whom were randomly
assigned to a PE course for either the first (August to mid-January) or
second (mid-January to June) semester of the academic year. The
research team measured students' physical activity in and outside
school in 30-minute blocks, and compared their individual grades in
core subjects, such as English, world studies, science and mathematics.
education and activity during the school day may reduce boredom and
help keep kids attention in the classroom," said Dawn Podulka Coe,
Ph.D., the study's lead author. "We were expecting to find that
students enrolled in PE would have better grades because of the
opportunity to be active during the school day. But, enrollment in PE
alone did not influence grades. The students who performed better
academically in this study were the most active, meaning those who
participated in a sport or other vigorous activity at least three times
Most of the
vigorous activity was achieved outside the classroom, in sports such as
soccer, football, basketball and baseball/softball. Since academic
performance was favorably influenced by this level of activity, the
researchers suggest incorporating vigorous activity in PE classes.
"This is a
good tool for all of us — parents, teachers and researchers alike
— to understand what motivates students and possibly coordinate
their activity and academic needs," said Coe.
The study was
published in the August issue of Medicine & Science in Sports &
Exercise®, the official journal of ACSM. The American College of
Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science
organization in the world.
For more information on the American College of Sports Medicine, visit www.acsm.org.