One in three obese kids 'metabolically healthy': Study
Researchers have suggested that about 33 per cent of kids with obesity are "metabolically healthy."
A study of 181 children with obesity aged eight to 17 years old showed that up to a third could be classified as "metabolically healthy," meaning they're not imminently at risk of developing insulin resistance—a precursor to Type 2 diabetes—high blood pressure, high cholesterol or other obesity-related diseases.
Geoff Ball, senior author and associate professor of pediatrics in the University of Alberta's Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, and clinical director of Stollery Children's Hospital's Pediatric Centre for Weight and Health said that lifestyle behaviours—how physically active they are and what they eat—those things have an effect on their health, independent of fatness.
Ball and his team studied five years' worth of clinical data, tracking the age and body composition of obese children, lifestyle behaviours like physical activity and diet, along with clinical indicators associated with obesity such as insulin resistance, blood pressure, and fat and glucose levels in the blood.
The study included traditional measures of obesity such as body mass index, which factors in an individual's height and weight but doesn't tell the whole story, Ball said.
"Obesity is often described as a complex disease with lots of causes and lots of consequences. Not everyone has the same consequences," he said. "Someone with Type 2 diabetes could have less body fat than somebody who has quite a bit more body fat and doesn't have Type 2 diabetes. There is considerable variability between individuals."
The research has been published in the journal Diabetes Care.
(Posted on 22-03-2014)