The effect of diet and strength training on obese children's physical self-concept

C. C.W. Yu, R. Y.T. Sung, K. T. Hau, P. K.W. Lam, E. A.S. Nelson, R. C.H. So

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Aim. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of a 6-week diet and exercise program, with emphasis on strength training, on the physical self-concept, body composition, and physical fitness of young overweight and obese children. Methods. Eighty-two overweight and obese children aged 8-11 years were randomized into a diet-only or a diet-and-strength training group. Self-concept, body composition and physical fitness were measured before and after the 6-week study period using the Physical Self Description Questionnaires (PSDQ), dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and standard fitness tests. Dietary intake was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire. Total daily energy intake was significantly reduced in both groups with a trend of more reduction in the diet-only group. Results. Both groups developed greater confidence in strength. Those in the diet-and-strength training group also improved their endurance self-concept Body Mass Index (BMI) decreased significantly in both groups. Lean mass increased significantly in both groups but significantly more in the diet-and-strength training group (+0.8 kg vs +0.3 kg, P<0.05). Handgrip, shuttle run, sit-up, and push-up were significantly improved in both groups, to a significantly greater extent in the diet-and-strength training group. Conclusion. These findings confirm the 6-week program of either diet-only or diet-and-strength training improved over-weight/obese children's self-perception of muscular strength and body composition. With the diet-and-strength training program, self-concept in endurance also improved and the gain in lean body mass was more than double that of the diet only group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-82
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Body composition
  • Child
  • Diet
  • Obesity
  • Physical fitness
  • Self-concept

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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