Effect of a high-fat meal on the growth hormone response to exercise in children

Pietro Galassetti*, Jennifer Larson, Kensho Iwanaga, Sandra L. Salsberg, Alon Eliakim, Andria Pontello

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Exercise-induced growth hormone (GH) secretion may significantly modulate growth and development in children. Altered physiological GH responses, therefore, may reduce the beneficial effects of exercise. High-fat food ingestion before exercise blunts the GH response in adults, but it is unknown whether this occurs in children. We therefore performed standard exercise tests, following a high-fat meal or placebo, in 12 children, age 11-15 (6 M, 6 F). GH, insulin-like growth factor-I, glucose, insulin, glucagon, cortisol, epinephrine and interleukin-6 samples were drawn at baseline, end-exercise, and 30 and 60 min post-exercise. While GH was similar at baseline in all experiments, the exercise-induced GH peak was lower after the high-fat meal (6.7 ± 1.6 ng/l vs 11.8 ± 2.4 ng/l, p <0.02). Other exercise responses were not affected by prior fat ingestion. A high-fat meal before exercise, therefore (a common event in Western societies), may reduce the growth factor response to exercise in children, with potential implications for growth and development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777-786
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Institutes of HealthK-23 RR018661-01, M01-RR00827-28
National Center for Research ResourcesM01RR000827
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation United States of America11-2003-332


    • Children
    • Development
    • Exercise
    • Exercise responses
    • Growth hormone
    • Lipids


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