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J Clin Hypertens(Greenwich). 2010;12:636–644. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

The objective of this study was to determine independent and joint association of body mass index (BMI) percentile and leisure time physical activity (LTPA) with continuous metabolic syndrome (cMetS) risk score in 12- to 17-year-old American children. The 2003 to 2004 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data were used for this investigation. LTPA was determined by self-report. cMetS risk score was calculated using standardized residuals of arterial blood pressure, triglycerides, glucose, waist circumference, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to evaluate association of BMI percentile and LTPA with cMetS risk score, adjusting for confounders. Increased BMI percentile and LTPA were each associated with increased and decreased cMetS risk score, respectively ((P<.01). There was a gradient of increasing cMetS risk score by BMI percentile cutpoints, from healthy weight (−0.77) to overweight (3.43) and obesity (6.40) ((P<.05). A gradient of decreasing cMetS risk score from sedentary (0.88) to moderate (0.17) and vigorous (−0.42) LTPA levels was also observed (P<.01). The result of this study suggests that promoting LTPA at all levels of weight status may help to reverse the increasing trends of metabolic syndrome in US children.