Reduced exercise capacity for muscle mass in adolescents living with obesity.

Colapelle J; Experimental Medicine, McGill University Experimental Medicine, Montréal, Quebec, Canada.
St-Pierre J; Erdstein J; Lands LC;

Pediatric pulmonology [Pediatr Pulmonol] 2024 Jan 31.
Date of Electronic Publication: 2024 Jan 31.

Background: Adolescents living with obesity (AlwO) can have limited exercise capacity. Exercise capacity can be predicted by a 2-factor model comprising lung function and leg muscle function, but no study has looked at cycling leg muscle function and its contribution to cycling exercise capacity in AlwO.
Methods: Twenty-two nonobese adolescents and 22 AlwO (BMI > 95 percentile) were studied. Anthropometry, body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), spirometry, 30-s isokinetic work capacity, and maximal exercise (cycle ergometry) were measured.
Results: AlwO had greater total body mass, lean body mass, and lean leg mass (LLM). Lung function trended higher in AlwO. Leg 30-s work did not differ in absolute terms or per allometrically scaled LLM. Peak oxygen consumption did not differ between the groups in absolute terms or as percent predicted values (79.59 ± 14.6 vs. 82.3 ± 11.2% predicted control versus ALwO) but was lower in AlwO when expressed per kg body mass, kg lean body mass, scaled lean body mass, and LLM. Peak oxygen consumption related to both lung function and 30-s work, with no observed group effect. 30-s leg work related to the scaled LLM, with a small group effect. There was some correlation between leg work and time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity in AlwO (r s  = 0.39, p = .07).
Conclusion: AlwO have larger LLM and preserved exercise capacity, when expressed as percentage of predicted, but not per allometrically scaled LLM. Increasing time spent in moderate to vigorous activity may benefit AlwO.