Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is systemic metabolic disease that results from insulin resistance or obesity. Numerous meta-analyses have investigated the effect of exercise on different populations, but none were aimed at the effect of aerobic exercise alone on obese children. This review systematically assessed and performed a meta-analysis on the effect of aerobic exercise on obese children with MetS.
MEDLINE via PubMed, Embase, SPORTDiscus, and the Cochrane library were searched and screened from inception to 20 October 2020 for randomized controlled trials. The inclusion criteria were obese children who met the criteria for MetS and aged 5-19 years old in an aerobic exercise group. The meta-analysis included eight trials with a total of 197 participants. Aerobic exercise significantly improved the waist circumference (mean difference [MD]=-3.97; 95% confidence interval [CI]=-6.12 to -1.83; p<0.01), body mass index (standardized MD [SMD]=-0.5; 95% CI=-0.70 to -0.29; p<0.01), triglyceride (SMD=-24.6; 95% CI=-33.85 to -15.35; p<0.01), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (SMD=2.36; 95% CI=0.44 to 4.27; p<0.01), and systolic blood pressure (SMD=-6.90; 95% CI=-10.46 to -3.35; p<0.01).
Based on the results of this meta-analysis, during the intervention period of the included studies, aerobic exercise alone mainly affected the lipoprotein, blood pressure, and body dimensions but cannot completely cure the MetS of obese children.
The effects of different types of aerobic exercise on obese children with MetS and exercise dose to cure the MetS of obese children needs to be further studied.

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.