Exercise therapy for children with obesity: a systematic literature review
Michael Jung1, Alice Rueber2, Dagmar Freerk2
1SRH University of Applied Sciences, Heidelberg, Germany
2Fresenius University of Applied Sciences, Idstein, Germany
International Medicine 2019; 1(4): 211-219 | DOI: 10.5455/im.43763 PDF
Background: Obesity in childhood increased in recent years steadily and affects 14 million children in Europe. Since this disease presents a serious health risk and can develop into complications in adulthood, measures must be taken to prevent further damage.
Methods: A systematic literature review was carried out in PubMed, MedPilot, CINAHL, Embase, and the Cochrane Library. Randomized controlled trials were included if they were published in the years 2006-2016, were written in German or English and described interventions with children from 0-18. Further studies were included manually. All studies were evaluated by the PEDro-scale and the impact of the intervention was compared by the body mass index (BMI) value.
Results: Five studies out of the first found 986 were included with a total of 605 children with obesity, thereof 328 in intervention groups and 277 in control groups. Children of the intervention groups undertook on average 100 minutes of exercise per week over three to 24 months periods. A reduction of the BMI value was proven only in four studies and varied from -0.1 kg/m² up to -0.46 kg/m² with different interventions.
Conclusions: Adequate physical therapy including resistance and endurance training can help improve BMI in children with overweight and obesity.
Keywords: children, eating disorders, exercise therapy, obesity, weight loss