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Physical Activity: Benefits for Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity

Pinto RM, Silva JVP, Monteiro GMC, de Resende RC, Clemente RD and de Souza CSB

Common obesity, also named exogenous obesity, is a complex disease with multifactorial etiology. In such complex diseases, it is necessary that genetic factors associate with a favorable environment for the phenotype to emerge. After birth, the child´s lifestyle is extremely relevant for determining or preventing the development of obesity.

The practice of Physical Activity (PA) plays a prominent role in the regulation of energy expenditure, since it is the only activity that is totally under conscious control. PA is capable of promoting positive adaptations on childhood obesity and act as aid in its prevention and treatment.

In obese children, the practice of PA leads to: improvement in body composition (reduction of fat mass and increase of lean mass), improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness, strength gain, proprioception, increased caloric expenditure, increased resting metabolic rate, increased tolerance to the use of glucose as an energy substrate, increased insulin sensitivity, improvement in lipid metabolism, and reduction of the inflammatory status.