European Journal of Pediatrics

, 168:1327 | Cite as

The influence of combined exercise training on indices of obesity, physical fitness and lipid profile in overweight and obese adolescents with mental retardation

  • Sami Mohammed Elmahgoub
  • Sabine Lambers
  • Sanne Stegen
  • Christophe Van Laethem
  • Dirk Cambier
  • Patrick CaldersEmail author
Original Paper



This study investigated the effect of combined exercise training on indices of body composition, physical fitness and lipid profile in adolescents with mental retardation.

Materials and methods

Thirty adolescents with mental retardation (total IQ, 45–70) received exercise training (n = 15) or no training (n = 15). Groups were matched for age, sex and mental retardation. Before and after the intervention period, indices of body composition, physical fitness and lipid profile were measured.


In comparison with the control group, weight, body mass index, waist and fat mass decreased significantly, while relative fat-free mass increased. The level of triglycerides, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein decreased significantly, while high-density lipoprotein increased. Muscle strength, muscle fatigue resistance and sit-to-stand were ameliorated. PeakVO2/peak power decreased significantly. The distance covered in the 6-min walk test (6MWT) increased with 50 m.


In conclusion, combined exercise training has a positive effect on indices of obesity, physical fitness and lipid profile in adolescents with mental retardation.


Combined exercise training Mental retardation Body composition Lipid profile Physical fitness 



Intelligence quotient


Body mass index


Heart rate


One-repetition maximum


Fat mass


Fat-free mass


Oxygen consumption


Carbon dioxide production




6-Min walk test


6-Min walk distance


Sit-to-stand test


High-density lipoprotein


Low-density lipoprotein



We thank the Directors and physiotherapists of the school settings Ravelijn (Brugge) and De Einder (Oudenaarde) for selecting and encouraging the participants and for their local support of this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sami Mohammed Elmahgoub
    • 1
  • Sabine Lambers
    • 1
  • Sanne Stegen
    • 1
  • Christophe Van Laethem
    • 1
  • Dirk Cambier
    • 1
  • Patrick Calders
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy Ghent Campus Heymans 1B3University of GhentGhentBelgium

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