Weight Training May Combat Childhood Obesity
Resistance Training May Prevent More Weight Gain in Young Obese Children
WebMD News Archive
June 2, 2005 - Adding resistance or weight training to the exercise routine
of obese children may help them overcome the battle of the bulge, a new study
Researchers found that obese young children who participated in a supervised
weight-training program built muscle strength and avoided the weight gain their
They say the findings add support to the idea of using weight training to
treat and prevent childhood obesity, which has been a topic of debate in recent
years. Traditionally, calorie-burning endurance training programs, which
include any aerobic activity such as jogging, swimming, and brisk walking, have
been the intervention of choice for treating childhood obesity.
Weight Training May Help Obese Children
In the study, researchers looked at the effects of weight training on the
strength and body composition of a group of obese children aged 7 to 11.
Half of the children participated in a 10-week, supervised,
progressive-resistance weight-training program three times a week, which
consisted of leg presses, leg curls, chest presses, overhead presses, bicep
curls, front pulldowns, and seated rows. The other half served as a comparison
group and did not do any weight training.
The results were presented this week at a meeting of the American College of
Sports Medicine in Nashville.
The study showed that children who participated in the weight-training group
experienced a significant increase in muscle strength while the comparison
group had no such increase.
Although the fat mass of the children in the weight-training group did not
change significantly during the course of the study, the children in the
comparison group gained an average of more than 2 1/2 pounds of fat during the
The ACSM recommends that all youth strength training programs be closely
supervised and have knowledgeable instructors who understand the uniqueness of
SOURCES: American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, June 2, 2005,