Aerobic training performed at ventilatory threshold improves psychological outcomes in adolescents with obesity

Academic Article


  • Background: Physical activity may be as effective as some drugs for improving psychological outcomes; however, vigorous exercise may be needed for improving these outcomes in adolescents with obesity. The aim of this study is to examine the effects of low- and high-intensity training on self-esteem and symptoms of depression and anxiety in adolescents with obesity. Methods: A total of 62 pubertal adolescents with obesity (age 15 [1.5] y, body mass index 34.87 [4.22] kg/m2) were randomized into high-intensity group (HIG, n = 31) or low-intensity group (LIG, n = 31) for 24 weeks. All participants also received nutritional, psychological, and clinical counseling. Body composition and measures of depressive symptoms, anxiety, and self-esteem were assessed at baseline and after 24 weeks. Results: Depressive symptoms decreased significantly in both HIG (d = 1.16) and LIG (d = 0.45) (P ≤ .01). Trait anxiety decreased after 24 weeks for HIG (d = 0.81, P = .002) and LIG (d = 0.31, P = .002). No changes were observed in state anxiety or self-esteem. Conclusions: Results from the present study demonstrate that 24 weeks of multidisciplinary intervention improves depression and anxiety symptoms in adolescents with obesity; however, the magnitude of changes is higher in HIG compared with LIG.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Fidelix Y; Lofrano-Prado MC; Fortes LS; Hill JO; Caldwell AE; Botero JP; do Prado WL
  • Start Page

  • 851
  • End Page

  • 856
  • Volume

  • 16
  • Issue

  • 10