Energy expenditure and physical activity of obese and non-obese Thai children.J Med Assoc Thai 2001; 84 Suppl 1:S314-20JM
The objective of this study was to assess the energy expenditure and physical activity in obese (n=21) and non-obese (n=21) children (aged 9-12 years) in Bangkok. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Energy expenditure and physical activity were determined by indirect calorimetry (based on oxygen consumption) and the heart rate monitoring method. Physical activity index was calculated by the ratio of total energy expenditure (TEE) to sedentary energy expenditure (SEE). The results showed that obese children had significantly greater (p<0.05) body weight, body mass index, relative weight, body fat (%), fat mass except for height, and fat free mass than the non-obese group. The TEE, SEE, and activity energy expenditure (AEE) were higher (p<0.05) in the obese children when compared with the non-obese ones. The mean values of respiratory quotient (RQ) were 0.91+/-0.06 in obese and 0.89+/-0.08 in the non-obese group, respectively, indicating the contribution of carbohydrate substrate to energy production. Both obese and non-obese children were similar in the physical activity index level of 1.48+/-0.17 and 1.51+/-0.22, respectively, which was lower than that recommended by the World Health Organization (1.7). In conclusion, energy expenditure of obese children was higher than non-obese children because of greater body weight. Furthermore, the physical activity of both groups was lower than that recommended by WHO. To prevent obesity in children, programmimg of exercise and activities as well as nutritional education should be emphasized for school children and parents.