Completing high-aerobic exercises during childhood does not combat the development of metabolic syndrome, researchers have said.

Academics from the University of Jyväskylä and the University of Eastern Finland have slammed prior findings that have claimed aerobic exercises can prevent metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

Symptoms of the condition include insulin resistance, lowered high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), elevated blood pressure, increased triglycerides and high body fat.

During the experiment, the team of scientists examined the body size and composition of 352 children aged nine to 11 years old and 572 middle-aged men before and after completing an aerobic fitness programme.

Body composition was measured in children by using both InBody and DXA devices. Meanwhile, it was measured by skin fold thickness measurement in adults.

The researchers found that aerobic fitness did not prevent the development of metabolic syndrome in both children and adults.

Senior author Dr Eero Haapala said: “Our results show that being overweight or obese increases the risk of metabolic syndrome regardless of the level of aerobic fitness.

“Instead of focusing on aerobic fitness, preventing metabolic syndrome should start with increasing physical activity, improving diet quality, and controlling weight.”

According to the findings, aerobic exercising was beneficial for an individual’s HDL cholesterol levels.

The study has been published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.

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