Graded Exercise Testing in a Pediatric Weight Management Center: The DeVos Protocol

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Background: In this article, we describe a protocol used to test the functional capacity of the obese pediatric patient and describe the peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) of patients seeking treatment at a pediatric weight management center. Methods: One hundred eleven (mean age, 12.5 +/- 3.0 years) patients performed a multistage exercise test on a treadmill, of which 90 (81%) met end-test criteria and provided valid VO2peak data. Peak VO2 was expressed: (1) in absolute terms (L min(-1)); (2) as the ratio of the volume of oxygen consumed per minute relative to total body mass (mL kg(-1) min(-1)); and (3) as the ratio of the volume of oxygen consumed per minute relative to fat-free mass (mL center dot FFM center dot kg(-1). min(-1)) Results: Mean BMI z-score was 2.4 +/- 0.3 and the mean percent body fat was 36.5 +/- 9.7%. Absolute VO2peak (L center dot min(-1)) was significantly different between sexes; however, relative values were similar between sexes. Mean VO2peak was 25.7 +/- 4.8 mL center dot kg(-l center dot) min(-1) with a range of 13.5-36.7 mL " seeking treatment at a stage 3 pediatric weight management center exhibit low VO2peak. The protocol outlined here should serve as a model for similar programs interested in the submaximal and peak responses to exercise in obese pediatric patients.