Diabetes in children preceded by large waist

Fri, 24 Mar 2006
The links between waist size and diabetes are becoming increasingly evident, but they are also shown to be valid amongst children and young adolescents. Waist circumference, according to a new report featured in the Journal of Pediatrics, precedes insulin resistance and is a major risk factor in the development of diabetes. According to study experts, this was independent of BMI (Body Mass Index), which determines how thin or fat a person is.

One expert, from the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, was reported as saying that abdominal obesity can occur despite BMI not being particularly high. The onus, the doctor said, was on physicians to bring this factor to the attention of parents and try to educate them about diet and exercise. Awareness, as in many chronic disease cases, was of paramount importance.

The study investigated the links between waist circumference and how well it reflected different types of fat such as total fat, abdominal fat, and visceral fat. Waist circumference was found to predict insulin resistance better than a combination of waist circumference and BMI. Central obesity, an idea of which is gained by waist size, was seen as the most important measure. A single measurement was also by far the most simple in identifying the disease, and preventing it.
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