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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2011, Article ID 358581, 8 pages
Research Article

A 10-Month Physical Activity Intervention Improves Body Composition in Young Black Boys

1Department of Exercise Physiology, Ohio University, Grover Center, E325 Athens, OH 45701, USA
2Medical College of Georgia, Department of Pediatrics, Georgia Prevention Institute, Augusta, GA 30912, USA

Received 1 June 2010; Accepted 31 August 2010

Academic Editor: James A. Levine

Copyright © 2011 Cheryl A. Howe et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To determine if a 10-month after-school physical activity (PA) intervention could prevent deleterious changes in body composition and cardiovascular (CV) fitness in young black boys. Methods. Following baseline measures, 106 boys (8–12 yrs) were randomized to either a control group or an intervention group, further divided into attenders (ATT) and nonattenders (NATT), participating in ≥60% or <60% of the intervention, respectively. The daily intervention consisted of skills development (25 min), vigorous PA (VPA, 35 min), and strengthening/stretching (20 min) components. Body composition was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Results. Following the intervention, the ATT exhibited an increase in moderate-to-vigorous PA and a significant reduction in BMI, fat mass, and %BF compared to the control group. A significant association among the intervention energy expenditure and changes in body composition and CV fitness was observed only in the ATT group. Conclusion. An after-school PA program of sufficient length and intensity can promote healthy changes in body composition and fitness levels in black boys who attend at least 3 days/week.