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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Robinson Ramírez-Vélez, Phone: +57 (1) 2970200, Email: robin640@hotmail.com; robinson.ramirez@urosario.edu.co

Authors’ contributions: KGR and MI carried out the non-traditional biomarkers studies, participated in project planning, and drafted the manuscript.

AGH contributed to study conception and design and critical revision.

All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

See publication for full list of author contributions.

Acknowledgments: Our special thanks go to the families, children, and parents who are participating in this study.

We also acknowledge pre- and post-graduate students for their collaboration in the healthy lifestyle education and exercise training sessions.

We also acknowledge Hospimedics for supplying the Echosens and Fibroscan 502® to quantify hepatic fat.

Disclosures: The study received ethical approval from the Medical Research Ethics Committee of the University of Rosario (act no ABN026–000140, 17 May 2016).

All parents or guardians will sign a written informed consent form and all adolescents must give their assent before being enrolled in the study according to the International Council for Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use and Good Clinical Practice, and national and local regulations.

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.


Research Funding:

The HEPAFIT study was carried out with the financial support of Instituto Colombiano para el Desarrollo de la Ciencia y la Tecnología “Francisco José de Caldas” COLCIENCIAS (code 59700 and no 122277757900).

Katherine González-Ruíz receive a scholarship from Universidad del Rosario, Colombia, Escuela de Medicina y Ciencias de la Salud, to do a Doctorate.

This article presents independent research commissioned by COLCIENCIAS under its Program Grants for Applied Research funding scheme (Convocatoria 777–2017).

The content of this paper reflects the authors’ views alone, and the Colombian Community and COLCIENCIAS are not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Medicine, Research & Experimental
  • Research & Experimental Medicine
  • Exercise
  • Risk factor
  • Fatty liver
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Overweight
  • Obesity

Effects of an exercise program on hepatic metabolism, hepatic fat, and cardiovascular health in overweight/obese adolescents from Bogota, Colombia (the HEPAFIT study): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

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Journal Title:



Volume 19, Number 1


, Pages 330-330

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Background: A considerable proportion of contemporary youth have a high risk of obesity-related disorders such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Although there is consistent evidence for the positive effects of physical activity on several health aspects, most adolescents in Colombia are sedentary. It is, therefore, important to implement strategies that generate changes in lifestyle. The HEPAFIT study aims to examine whether a 6-month exercise program has benefits for hepatic fat content and cardiovascular health outcomes among overweight/obese adolescents from Bogotá, Colombia. Methods/design: Altogether, 100 hundred overweight/obese, sedentary adolescents (aged 11-17 years) attending two public schools in Bogotá, Colombia, will be included in a parallel-group randomized controlled trial. Adolescents will be randomly assigned to an intervention group following one of four curricula: (1) the standard physical education curriculum (60 min per week of physical activity, n = 25) at low-to-moderate intensity; (2) a high-intensity physical education curriculum (HIPE, n = 25), consisting of endurance and resistance games and non-competitive activities, such as running, gymkhanas, lifting, pushing, wrestling, or hauling, for 60-min sessions, three times per week, with an energy expenditure goal of 300 to 500 kcal/session at 75-85% maximum heart rate (HRmax); (3) a low-to-moderate intensity physical education curriculum (LIPE, n = 25) consisting of endurance and resistance games and non-competitive activities (e.g., chasing, sprinting, dribbling, or hopping) for 60-min sessions, three times per week with an energy expenditure goal of 300 kcal/session at 55-75% HRmax; and (4) a combined HIPE and LIPE curriculum (n = 25). The HIPE, LIPE, and combined interventions were performed in addition to the standard physical education curriculum. The primary outcome for effectiveness is liver fat content, as measured by the controlled attenuation parameter 1 week after the end of the intervention program. Discussion: The translational focus may be suitable for collecting new information in a school setting on the possible effects of physical activity interventions to reduce liver fat content and to improve metabolic profiles and the cardiometabolic health of overweight/obese adolescents. This may lead to the more efficient use of school physical education resources.

Copyright information:

© 2018 The Author(s).

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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