Sebastian Daniel Ibarra, Cameron Addie, Vaughn Barry, Brandon Grubbs, Angela Bowman, Sarah C. Martinez-Sepanski. Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN.

BACKGROUND: Sarcopenic obesity is the loss of muscle mass with aging with the combined influence of obesity. Sarcopenic obesity has become more prevalent in older adults and can increase an individual’s chance of mortality. Partaking in a physically active lifestyle at a young age to maintain muscle mass while decreasing fat mass is paramount. Evidence has shown that power preferred predictor for functional performance maintenance. The purpose of this study is to identify if BMI is an accurate predictor of peak power in young adults who met the minimum recommendations for the 2018 aerobic Physical Activity Guidelines (PAG). METHODS: Forty-nine college students were recruited for this study (age: 23.02 ± 3.88y, height: 168.93 ± 9.75cm, mass: 78.02 ± 17.36kg, BMI: 27.34 ± 5.55kg/m^2). Body mass was measured with a digital scale, while height was measured using a stadiometer to calculate BMI. The Tendo Weightlifting Analyzer was used to assess sit-to-stand peak power of the lower extremities. ActivPAL technology was used to obtain total time spent in moderate and/or vigorous physical activity during a 7-day wear period. An ANCOVA was ran to examine group differences of peak power based on meeting the 2018 PAG guidelines (>150 mins) when controlling for BMI. RESULTS: BMI was a significant predictor on relative peak power [F (1, 45) = 6.49, p = .014]). Since BMI was a significant predictor, it was categorized based on the CDC guidelines into normal (n = 16, M = 15.686 W/kg), overweight (n = 20, M = 17.249 W/kg) and obese (n= 13, M = 13.260W/kg) to observe group differences on peak power. A one-way ANOVA revealed that overweight individuals had significantly greater power than obese individuals (p = 0.024). There were no significant differences seen between individuals with a normal BMI compared to overweight (p = .33) or obese (p= .183). CONCLUSION: BMI is a significant predictor of peak power in young adults. Overweight individuals have more peak power than those who are obese. This may be due to overweight individuals having more lean body mass compared to obese individuals. This suggests that young individuals who are obese have larger amounts of fat mass and less peak power. Thus, making obese young adults most susceptive to sarcopenic obesity in later stages of life and stresses the importance of maintaining a physically active lifestyle at a young age.

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