Methods and analysis: Multicentre randomised controlled trial of 100 obese children and adolescents in the cities of Trondheim (Norway) and Brisbane (Australia). The trial will examine the efficacy of HIIT to improve cardiometabolic outcomes in obese children and adolescents. Participants will be randomised to (1) HIIT and nutrition advice, (2) MICT and nutrition advice or (3) nutrition advice. Participants will partake in supervised exercise training and/or nutrition sessions for 3 months. Measurements for study end points will occur at baseline, 3 months (postintervention) and 12 months (follow-up). The primary end point is myocardial function (peak systolic tissue velocity). Secondary end points include vascular function (flow-mediated dilation assessment), quantity of visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue, myocardial structure and function, body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness, autonomic function, blood biochemistry, physical activity and nutrition. Lean, healthy children and adolescents will complete measurements for all study end points at one time point for comparative cross-sectional analyses.
Ethics and dissemination: This randomised controlled trial will generate substantial information regarding the effects of exercise intensity on paediatric obesity, specifically the cardiometabolic health of this at-risk population. It is expected that communication of results will allow for the development of more effective evidence-based exercise prescription guidelines in this population while investigating the benefits of HIIT on subclinical markers of disease.
Trial registration number: NCT01991106.