Obesity, hypertension and diabetes could affect both early onset and severity of childhood obesity

A family history of metabolic diseases could be a risk factor for childhood obesity.

The red flags include obesity, high blood pressure, high blood lipid levels, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease in the family. New research assessed these risk factors and came to this conclusion. The youngest children were found to be the most severely obese.

Children suffering from severe obesity show signs of insulin resistance, which can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. Published in open-access journal Frontiers in Endocrinology the study hopes to increase the awareness about the influence of family health history on childhood obesity.

“Our research suggests a link between childhood obesity and a family history of obesity and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, which includes high blood pressure, high blood lipid levels, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease,” says lead author Dr Dominico Corica, based at the University of Messina, Italy.

For this study, more than 250 overweight and obese children, aged between two and 17-years old, were referred…

“We also show that the problem of childhood obesity is not simply related to an increase in the number of diagnoses, but also the severity of obesity in younger children. If this obesity persists over time, these children will have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic complications in young adulthood.”

For this study, more than 250 overweight and obese children, aged between two and 17-years old, were referred by their family pediatricians to the Pediatric Endocrinology Outpatient Clinic at the University of Messina.

“These assessments were made after the first referral by their family pediatrician, which allowed us to determine if there was the presence of metabolic complications, such as insulin resistance, in an obese child at first assessment,” explains Corica.

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