Paediatric non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is considered the most common early driver of chronic liver disease. The aim of this study was to examine whether grip strength moderates the association between anthropometric and body composition parameters and controlled attenuation parameter (CAP), an indicator of fat deposits in the liver, in children and adolescents with excess of adiposity. A total of 127 adolescents (67% girls) aged between 11 and 17, attending two public schools in Bogotá (Colombia), who had an axiological evaluation of obesity were included in this study. A grip strength test was assessed as an indicator of muscular strength, and cardiorespiratory fitness by maximal oxygen uptake was assessed using the 20 m shuttle-run test. Waist circumference (WC), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), fat mass, and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) (cm3) were included as anthropometric and body composition measures. CAP was determined with a FibroScan® 502 Touch device (Echosens, Paris, France). The anthropometric and body composition parameters including WC, WHtR, fat mass, and VAT were positively associated with the CAP (range β = 0.423 to 0.580), slightly reduced after being adjusted for handgrip strength/weight. The Johnson-Neyman technique revealed a significant inverse relationship between WC, WHtR, VAT, and CAP when grip strength normalized by body mass was above but not equal to or below 0.475 (8.1% of the sample), 0.469 (8.9% of the sample), and 0.470 (8.5% of the sample), respectively. In conclusion, grip strength adjusted by body mass, has a moderating effect on the association between anthropometric and body composition parameters (including WC, WHtR, and VAT) and CAP in in children and adolescents with excess of adiposity, suggesting the importance of promoting muscular strength during paediatric population in order to prevent NAFLD.
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