How does body fat distribution correlate to cardiovascular and endocrine complications in childhood and adolescent obesity?

Updated: Feb 20, 2019
  • Author: Steven M Schwarz, MD, FAAP, FACN, AGAF; Chief Editor: Jatinder Bhatia, MBBS, FAAP  more...
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Answer

Among sexually mature adolescents, changes in serum lipids and androgens seem to correlate more strongly with body fat distribution than with absolute weight. Thus, adolescents with central obesity (ie, android or abdominal fat pattern) are more likely to manifest these cardiovascular risk factors than individuals with peripheral obesity (ie, gynoid or gluteal pattern). In prepubertal children, however, the cardiovascular risk factors correlate better with body weight than with body fat distribution. The increasing prevalence of obesity in childhood and adolescence, accompanied by insulin resistance, appears to explain the increasing incidence of type 2 diabetes in adolescents, particularly in minority populations.


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