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South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation

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The association between leptin, body composition and physical fitness in black adolescents: the Play study

M Swanepoel, H Moss, S Kruger, A Schutter

Abstract




This study investigated the association between leptin, body composition and physical
fitness in black adolescents from two selected schools in Ikageng, in the North West
Province of South Africa. Baseline measurements were obtained from 124 boys and
148 girls between the ages of 13 and 20 years, which participated in the bigger
PLAY- longitudinal study (Physical Activity in the Young). Body composition was
assessed through SSK (sum of 6 skinfolds), BMI (body mass index) and body fat
percentage (BOD POD). Physical fitness was measured with the 20 meters shuttle
run and indirect V02-max values were calculated using Internet software.
Descriptive statistics were used to describe the data. Partial correlations were used
to determine the relationships between various variables. From the results it is clear
the SSK showed a strong positive correlation in both genders with leptin – even a
stronger correlation in boys (r = 0.8420). In girls BMI and leptin correlated the
highest (r = 0.7489). Body fat percentage had the weakest correlation with leptin in
both genders, although it was still significant. Indirect V02-max values and leptin
showed a significant negative correlation in both genders. This correlation was
stronger in boys (r = -0.314) than in girls (r = -0.235).

Keywords: Leptin; South Africa; Body composition; Ethnicity; Physical fitness;
Body fat; Gender.

South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation Vol. 29 (2) 2007: pp. 109-120



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