Children with obesity are known to have reduced bone density and are at a higher risk for fractures. This may be caused by decreased physical activity or a metabolic phenomenon. In this study, we evaluated associations of physical activity with bone metabolism in children and adolescents with and without obesity.
Results from 574 visits of 397 subjects, 191 girls and 206 boys aged five to 18 years (mean: 11.7±2.8) representing 180 children with (mean BMI SDS 2.5 ± 0.4) and 217 without obesity (mean BMI SDS 0.2 ± 1.0) from the LIFE Child study, a population-based cohort of children/adolescents with normal weight and with obesity were analyzed for the impact of their daily physical activity (MET/day, SenseWear Accelerometer) on serum SDS levels for bone formation (alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, procollagen type I N propeptide [P1NP]), bone resorption (beta-crosslaps), and calcium homeostasis (parathormone, OH-25-vitamin D) by a linear regression model adjusted for sex- and age-based differences.
For male subjects, BMI SDS significantly influenced the association of physical activity to PTH, vitamin D, and beta-crosslaps SDS levels. A higher physical activity was accompanied by increased PTH but decreased vitamin D SDS levels in children with normal weight. In males with obesity, all levels remained unaltered. In females, BMI SDS significantly impacted the association of physical activity to PTH, vitamin D, P1NP, beta-crosslaps, and osteocalcin SDS levels. In females with obesity, higher physical activity was related to higher SDS levels of vitamin D, P1NP, and beta-crosslaps. In contrast, in normal weight females, only PTH SDS was higher.
The effect of daily physical activity on bone metabolic markers and calciotropic hormones depends significantly on gender and BMI SDS. However, higher levels of physical activity were associated with increased bone turnover for female subjects with obesity onlyThus, motivating especially girls with obesity to be physically active may help improve their bone health.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.