Sensitivity of blood lipids to changes in adiposity, exercise, and diet in children

Dick TELFORD, Ross Cunningham, Paul Waring, Rohan Telford, Julia Potter, Peter Hickman, Walter P. Abhayaratna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aims to determine whether blood lipids in healthy preadolescent children are sensitive to normally occurring changes in percent body fat, physical activity (PA), cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), and macronutrient intake. Methods: Repeatedmeasurements of fasting serum LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides (TG); percent body fat (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry); PA(pedometers); CRF (multistage run); and carbohydrate, sugar, and fat intake (dietary recall and record) were carried out in 469 children (51% girls) age 8, 10, and 12 yr. Results: Longitudinal relationships in boys showed that, for every one-unit increase in percent body fat, there was a 1.3% (95% CI, 0.9-1.8; P G 0.001) increase in LDL cholesterol; among girls, the increase was 0.8% (95% CI, 0.3-1.2; P = 0.003). In addition, we found a positive longitudinal relationship between TG and percent body fat (P G 0.001) in girls, and a negative longitudinal relationship between HDL cholesterol and percent body fat (P = 0.03) in boys. There were also longitudinal relationships between TG and CRF in both sexes (P G 0.05), but these were not sustained upon adjustment for percent body fat. Although cross-sectional relationships occurred in girls for both HDL cholesterol and TG with PA (P G 0.05), we found no evidence of any relationships between lipids and fat or sugar intake. By age 12 yr, LDL cholesterol was elevated (93.36 mmolILj1) in 16% and 20% of girls and boys, respectively. Conclusions: Blood lipids in preadolescent children appear sensitive to normal changes occurring in their percent body fat and, thus, fitness. Our data support early attention to body composition in community strategies designed to prevent cardiovascular disease in later life
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)974-982
Number of pages9
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2015


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