Ghrelin, Adipokines, Metabolic Factors in Relation With Weight Status in School-children and Results of a 1-year Lifestyle Intervention Program

Christine Rambhojan; Elodie Bouaziz-Amar; Laurent Larifla; Jacqueline Deloumeaux; Josiane Clepier; Jean Plumasseau; Jean-Marc Lacorte; Lydia Foucan


Nutr Metab. 2015;12(43) 

In This Article


Obesity is a growing health problem worldwide. In the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, overweight and obesity were recently estimated at 23 and 9 % respectively among children aged 5–14 years.[1] In this island, a high prevalence of diabetes (8 %) is also observed in the adult population. The causes of obesity are multifactorial but the main factor contributing to excessive weight gain in children should be the imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. The presence of obesity in childhood is associated with adverse effects on health including metabolic complications in which numerous cytokines and hormones are involved.

Among these cytokines, leptin and adiponectin, produced by adipose tissue, appear to play a role in glucose and lipid metabolism and energy homeostasis.[2] Ghrelin an orexigene hormone that also plays a role in energy metabolism by stimulating food intake and favoring weight and fat gain, has been recognized as an important regulator of glycemia and insulinemia.[3]

Childhood obesity is a predictor of adult obesity and metabolic syndrome that are risk factors of morbidity and mortality[4–7] and, studies of long-term health consequences in adolescent males found that even moderate overweight is associated with excess mortality in adulthood.[8]

Because lifestyle habits settle during childhood, it was recommended to precociously stop or prevent weight gain in overweight children notably by promoting lifestyle changes. These changes might also help to reduce obesity associated comorbidities.

Studies have analyzed the relationship between these hormones or cytokines and metabolic risk factors according to children's weight status.[7,9,10] But few studies have reported the concomitant variations of these factors after a lifestyle intervention.[7,11–13] In addition, no data are available for these cytokines and metabolic risk markers in our children population.

Therefore, in the present study: 1) we evaluated the metabolic profile, including serum ghrelin, leptin and adiponectin levels, in schoolchildren classified as normal weight, overweight and obese and 2) we analyzed the potential changes in anthropometric and metabolic factors after a 1-year collaborative lifestyle intervention program.