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Background. Approximately 17% of children aged 6–11 years were classified as obese in the United States. Obesity adversely affects physical functioning and leads to reduced quality of life. Heart function for overweight and obese children has not been reported. Methods. Data for this study were from NHANES National Youth Fitness Survey (NNYFS) conducted in conjunction with the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) in 2012. This study used data from children aged 6–12 () that had the cardiorespiratory endurance measure, body mass index for age and sex, and dietary data (). Cardiovascular endurance was estimated by heart rate reserve. Results. Compared to the highest percentile of heart rate reserve, those in the first percentile had 3.52 (2.36, 5.24) odds and those in the second percentile had 3.61 (1.84, 7.06) odds of being in the overweight/obese as compared to the under/normal weight category. Considering the highest percentile, boys had a heart rate reserve of 35%, whereas girls had a heart rate reserve of 13% (less than half that of boys). Conclusion. Having an overweight or obese classification for children in this study demonstrated a compromise in cardiovascular endurance. Parental awareness should be raised as to the detrimental consequence of overweight and heart health.

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Originally published in the Journal of Obesity.



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