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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


AGUILAR CORDERO, M. J. et al. Physical activity programmes to reduce overweight and obesity in children and adolescents: a systematic review. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2014, vol.30, n.4, pp.727-740. ISSN 1699-5198.

Introduction: Obesity treatment has been the subject of much controversy; various authors have recommended the application of a comprehensive treatment programme, and in the light of this previous research, we consider the question of what is the most effective programme of physical activity to reduce overweight and obesity in children and adolescents. Aims: To analyse major studies on the effectiveness of physical activity in reducing overweight and obesity in children and adolescents. Method: Systematic review of the results of physical activity programmes, published in scientific articles, to reduce overweight and obesity. Using an automated database search in PubMed and Google Scholar, conducted from October 2013 to March 2014, we identified 85 valid items. In selecting the items, the criteria applied included the usefulness and relevance of the subject matter and the credibility or experience of the research study authors. The internal and external validity of each of the articles reviewed was taken into account. Conclusions: This review confirmed the effectiveness of physical activity in reducing overweight and obesity in children and adolescents. The most effective programmes were those combining aerobic and anaerobic exercises. It is generally accepted that at least 180 minutes per week should be dedicated to exercise, in the form of three 60-minute sessions of moderate intensity. Such programmes could be sufficient for persons with overweight or obesity. Researchers in this field agree that when a diet based on an appropriate distribution of meals is combined with regular physical activity, they reinforce each other, and thus optimum results are obtained. Weight reduction programmes that take account of family involvement are more effective than nutrition education itself or other routine interventions that fail to consider family involvement. The role of parents and of the persons around the child or adolescent is essential to reinforce positive behaviour toward lifestyle change.

Keywords : Physical Activity; Overweight; Obesity; Children; Teens.

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