Research findings are inconsistent about improvement of specific cardio-metabolic variables after lifestyle intervention in obese children. The aim of this trial was to evaluate the effect of a 1-year intervention, based on normocaloric diet and physical activity, on body mass index (BMI), blood lipid profile, glucose metabolism and metabolic syndrome. Eighty-five obese children aged ≥6 years were analyzed. The BMI z
-score was calculated. Fasting blood samples were analyzed for lipids, insulin and glucose. The homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was calculated and insulin resistance was defined as HOMA-IR >3.16. HOMA-β%, quantitative insulin sensitivity check index and triglyceride glucose index were calculated. The metabolic syndrome was defined in accordance with the International Diabetes Federation criteria. At the end of intervention children showed a reduction (mean (95% CI)) in BMI z
-score (−0.58 (−0.66; −0.50)), triglycerides (−0.35 (−0.45; −0.25) mmol/L) and triglyceride glucose index (−0.29 (−0.37; −0.21)), and an increase in HDL cholesterol (0.06 (0.01; 0.11) mmol/L). Prevalence of insulin resistance declined from 51.8% to 36.5% and prevalence of metabolic syndrome from 17.1% to 4.9%. Nutritional-behavioral interventions can improve the blood lipid profile and insulin sensitivity in obese children, and possibly provide benefits in terms of metabolic syndrome.
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