Editor-in-Chief: L. Bruce Gladden, PhD, FACSM
ISSN: 0195-9131
Online ISSN: 1530-0315
Frequency: 12 issues / year
Ranking: 6/81 in Sports Sciences
Impact Factor: 4.041
News & Views from the Editor-in-Chief

Please let me direct your attention to three particularly interesting studies in the September 2016 MSSE. Two of these studies relate to fitness in children. Adiposity and low cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) are two known contributors to metabolic disease risk. Despite acknowledging the limitations of BMI, researchers and clinicians continue to adopt this index as a measure of adiposity. In this month's journal, Fairchild and colleagues reported that a significant proportion (≈7.2%) of children (7.4 – 11.6 years old) in a European cohort presented with "normal" BMI but high body-fat percentage (BF%). Additionally, these children had significantly lower levels of CRF than children with "normal" BMI and "normal" BF%. The effect of BF% on CRF was significantly worse in boys than girls. Improvements in either BF% or BMI classification over a subsequent two year period were associated with an improvement in CRF. These findings support the idea of routine CRF testing in children to identify those at risk of developing metabolic disease.

Using data from the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health (CDAH) study in Australia, Fraser et al. examined previously unreported associations between childhood muscular fitness (incorporating strength, endurance, and power) and the metabolic syndrome in young adulthood. Their findings suggest that increased muscular fitness in childhood could protect against developing metabolic syndrome in adulthood, independent of cardiorespiratory fitness levels. These results provide additional evidence to support the current WHO physical activity guidelines that recently highlighted the importance of muscular strengthening activities in addition to aerobic exercise. Overall, these findings reveal a need to focus on the combination of increased muscular fitness, increased cardiorespiratory fitness and decreased adiposity in childhood prevention strategies to reduce future metabolic syndrome risk.

On a very different topic, Thomas and coworkers investigated the contribution of central and peripheral processes to the fatigue observed after exhaustive constant-load cycling exercise that varied in intensity and duration. Their data demonstrate that peripheral, or muscle, fatigue is exacerbated with exercise intensity, such that higher constant-load exercise intensities terminate with higher levels of muscle fatigue. In contrast, central fatigue was exacerbated with exercise duration. These data add to the weight of evidence supporting the idea that the limits to exercise performance vary with the demands of the task.​


L. Bruce Gladden


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