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Strength training lowers the fat percentage of children

Strength training lowers the fat percentage of children
When children and teenagers start training with weights, without changing their diet and without combining their strength training routines with endurance or cardio training, their fat percentage drops. English researchers, affiliated with the University of Dundee, report this in Sports Medicine Open. According to their meta-study, fat mass, fat-free mass and BMI of the young do not change however.

The British traced 18 studies in which researchers had children and teenagers aged 5-18 years 6-24 weeks work out with weights. The children and teenagers were not into endurance or cardio training, and did not change their dietary pattern.

The British aggregated the results of these studies and analyzed them again.

The only statistically significant effect of strength training on body composition that the researchers found was that strength training reduced body fat percentage.

Strength training lowers the fat percentage of children

Although there was a trend that strength training reduced fat mass, that effect was not significant. There was also a trend that strength training increased the lean body mass, but that was not significant either.

Strength training lowers the fat percentage of children

"The literature suggests that resistance training may have a positive effect on weight status in youth, although the effects have not been clearly established and it is clear that more quality research is required to investigate this further", the researchers summarzie. "This meta-analysis provides an overview of the current research evidence and and insight into the potential benefits of such interventions."

"Overall, this meta-analysis found a small, statistically significant effect of resistance training interventions on body fat percent and skinfolds, but no overall significant effect on body mass, BMI, fat free mass, fat mass, lean mass or waist circumference. While we can conclude that resistance training interventions have a small positive impact on some indicators of weight status, it is noted that this reflects only a small body of published work."

"With resistance training interventions offering potential benefits for youth with regards to weight status, it is imperative that more robust and quality studies should be conducted to further, and unequivocally, investigate the role resistance training may play in the treatment and prevention of obesity."

"Based on the findings of this meta-analysis, and in support of the conclusions of previous reviews, future studies should be designed as randomised controlled trials with large samples and include a treatment group with an isolated RT intervention."

"There should be careful consideration into appropriate intervention content and assessment methods. If validated, this type of intervention, as recommended by the UK and WHO physical activity guidelines, could ultimately have a positive impact on the prevalence of common obesity-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, and improve the health of individuals not only during childhood but as they progress through life."

Sports Med Open. 2018 Aug 20;4(1):41.

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