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Issue 91 Item 15 Insulin Resistance Reduces Risk of Adult Obesity in Overweight

Feb 12, 2002

Insulin resistance in childhood among obese girls appears to reduce the risk of obesity in adulthood. Insulin resistance and obesity are associated in children as they are in adults. However, while insulin resistance seems to oppose further weight gain in adults, the reverse has been found in children, write researchers at the University of Verona, Italy. They investigated the relationship between childhood obesity, insulin resistance and long-term weight gain in 215 obese Caucasian children (120 boys and 95 girls) aged 10.5±2.4 years. The children’s relative body mass index (BMI) was 153.8 percent (±27.7 percent). They had normal glucose tolerance. Insulin resistance was assessed at baseline with the homeostasis model assessment. After 14 + years, 103 of the 215 children, now adults, returned for an examination of height and weight. Of these, 37 (35.9 percent) were obese (BMI greater than or equal to 30), 33 (32.0 percent) were overweight (25 having BMI below 30), and another 33 (32.0 percent) were of normal weight (20 having BMI below 25). Multiple regression analysis showed that, in girls, relative BMI and childhood insulin resistance were independent predictors of adult BMI. Also, high relative body mass index and low insulin resistance index at baseline predicted obesity in adulthood for girls, whatever their age, Tanner stage or parents’ BMI. The researchers found that insulin resistance was not a significant predictor of adult obesity in boys. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 2002; 87(1): 71-76.