European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 50, Issue 6, pp 391–400

Markers of metabolic syndrome in obese children before and after 1-year lifestyle intervention program

  • C. Pedrosa
  • B. M. P. M. Oliveira
  • I. Albuquerque
  • C. Simões-Pereira
  • M. D. Vaz-de-Almeida
  • F. Correia
Original Contribution



Excess weight may be related to the development of adverse cardiometabolic risk factors in children. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a lifestyle intervention program (nutrition and exercise counseling) on anthropometric parameters and metabolic syndrome (MS) components in Portuguese overweight/obese children.


A total of 83 overweight/obese children aged 7–9 years were assigned to a 1-year individual or group-based treatment (GT); 61 children (z-score BMI (zBMI): 1.93 ± 0.28; 27 boys and 34 girls) completed the program. Anthropometric and biochemical parameters were assessed at baseline, at 6 months and at 1 year.


The overweight/obese children, compared to normal-weight ones, presented significantly higher blood pressure, total-cholesterol, total-cholesterol/high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) ratio, triglycerides, Apolipoprotein B and C-reactive protein levels, while HDL and Apolipoprotein A-I were significantly lower. At baseline, the prevalence of MS was 16.4% in overweight/obese and 0% in normal-weight children. The number of components of MS was significantly higher in children with higher zBMI. Lifestyle intervention led to a significant improvement in zBMI, waist circumference/height ratio, HDL, triglycerides, Apolipoprotein A-I, and Apolipoprotein B levels. The prevalence of MS decreased to 14.8%. The GT intervention seems to be more successful, with a significant decrease in zBMI and an increase in HDL and a lower drop-out rate.


Overweight/obese children have multiple risk factors associated with the MS. Lifestyle intervention, both individual and group-based treatment, led to an improvement in the degree of overweight/obesity and in MS components.


Children Metabolic syndrome Obesity Nutrition Lifestyle intervention 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Pedrosa
    • 1
    • 2
  • B. M. P. M. Oliveira
    • 1
  • I. Albuquerque
    • 2
  • C. Simões-Pereira
    • 2
  • M. D. Vaz-de-Almeida
    • 1
  • F. Correia
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Nutrition and Food Sciences of University of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and NutritionHospital Infante D. Pedro, EPEAveiroPortugal
  3. 3.Department of EndocrinologyHospital de S. João.PortoPortugal

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