Impaired Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Muscle Strength in Children with Normal-Weight Obesity

Martin Musálek, Cain C T Clark, Jakub Kokštejn, Šarka Vokounova, Jan Hnízdil, Filip Mess

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    16 Citations (Scopus)
    51 Downloads (Pure)


    Despite the health-related implications of normal-weight obesity in children, very little research has explored the fundamental associations between this status and important long-term health parameters. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to investigate the physical fitness of children with normal-weight obesity, in comparison to normal-weight non obese and overweight and obese counterparts. A total of 328 middle-school-aged children (9.8 ± 0.5 y) took part in this study (n = 44 normal-weight obese; n = 237; normal-weight non obese; n = 47 overweight and obese). Height, weight, and body-fatness were measured. Four physical fitness tests were conducted: (1) Multistage fitness test; (2) shuttle run 4 × 10 m; (3) sit-ups for 60 s; (4) the broad jump. Welch's analysis of variance (ANOVA), stratified by sex, with post-hoc testing where necessary, was performed. Children with normal-weight obesity had significantly (p < 0.01) lower cardio-respiratory and muscular fitness than normal-weight non obese peers. In addition, normal-weight obese and overweight and obese boys had comparable deficits in strength and explosiveness of lower limbs, speed coordination, and endurance, compared to normal-weight non obese counterparts. Normal-weight obese children appear to have similar deficits in PF as their overweight and obese peers, compared to normal-weight non obese counterparts, whilst boys had larger deficits than girls.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number9198
    Number of pages14
    JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
    Issue number24
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2020

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


    Funding Information: Funding: This work was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Technical University of Munich within the funding programme Open Access Publishing. This study was supported by PROGRES Q19, Social-Sciences Aspects of Human Movement Studies II.d.


    • Cardiorespiratory
    • Children
    • Muscle strength
    • Normal-weight obesity
    • Physical fitness

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
    • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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