Insulin sensitivity, cardiorespiratory fitness, and physical activity in overweight hispanic youth

Geoff D.C. Ball, Gabriel Q. Shaibi, Martha L. Cruz, Michael P. Watkins, Marc J. Weigensberg, Michael I. Goran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether cardiorespiratory fitness and/or physical activity (PA) were related to measures of insulin sensitivity and secretion independent of body composition in overweight Hispanic children. Research Methods and Procedures: Ninety-five Hispanic children (n = 55 boys; n = 40 girls; 8 to 13 years old) participated in this investigation. The frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test was used to determine the insulin sensitivity index (SI), the acute insulin response, and the disposition index. Cardiorespiratory fitness [maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max)] was evaluated using a treadmill protocol, and PA was determined by an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Body composition was measured using DXA. Results: Unadjusted correlations indicated that VO2max (milliliters of O2 per minute) was negatively related to SI (r = -0.46, p < 0.05) and disposition index (r = -0.31, p < 0.05) and positively associated with fasting insulin (r = 0.29, p < 0.05), but these relationships were no longer significant once gender, Tanner stage, fat mass, and soft lean tissue mass were included as covariates (all p > 0.05). Multivariate linear regression analysis showed that body fat mass explained 53% of the variance in SI and that VO2max (milliliters of O2 per minute) was not independently related to SI. Cardiorespiratory fitness was positively related to both fat mass (r = 0.43, p < 0.001) and soft lean tissue mass (r = 0.89, p < 0.001). PA was not related to any measure of insulin sensitivity and secretion. Discussion: Cardiorespiratory fitness, as determined by V O2max (milliliters of O2 per minute), was not independently related to insulin sensitivity or secretion, suggesting that VO2max influences insulin dynamics indirectly through fat mass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-85
Number of pages9
JournalObesity research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Body composition
  • Children
  • Hispanic
  • Physical fitness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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