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A reduction in BMI improves insulin sensitivity in obese teens
Date:6/4/2013

Obese teenagers who reduced their body mass index (BMI) by 8 percent or more had improvements in insulin sensitivity, an important metabolic factor related to the later development of type 2 diabetes. The teens followed a family-based, lifestyle-modification weight loss program that offers the potential to become a broader model.

BMI is a measure of body weight adjusted for height.

"This threshold effect that occurs at 8 percent suggests that obese adolescents don't need to lose enormous amounts of weight to achieve improvements," said pediatric endocrinologist Lorraine Levitt Katz, M.D., of the Diabetes Center for Children at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "The improvements in insulin sensitivity occurred after four months of participating in a lifestyle-modification program."

The findings appeared online on May 24 in The Journal of Pediatrics. The first author is Pamela Abrams, M.D., a member of the study team while at Children's Hospital, and currently at St. Luke's Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Center Valley, Pa. Another co-author from Children's Hospital is psychiatrist Robert I. Berkowitz, M.D., the principal investigator of a federally sponsored clinical trial of weight loss treatments, from which the researchers analyzed data for the current study.

The study team analyzed results in 113 primarily urban adolescents, aged 13 to 17, of whom 81 percent were female, and 62 percent were African American. At the start of the study, their mean BMI was 37.1, placing them in the severely obese range. None had type 2 diabetes, but their obesity placed them at high risk to develop the disease in the future.

An important goal of the study was to determine the threshold of weight loss that significantly impacted insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance and the presence of metabolic syndrome (MS). MS, as well as abnormal values in insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, is associated with the deve
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Contact: John Ascenzi
ascenzi@email.chop.edu
267-426-6055
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Source:Eurekalert

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