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Intervention lowered obesity rate in youth at high diabetes risk, HEALTHY study finds
Date:6/27/2010

nitially at the 85th percentile or more. In children, overweight is defined as a BMI at the 85th to 94th percentile for their age and sex; obesity is defined as a BMI at the 95th percentile or more. BMI is a measurement of weight in relation to height.

Students in program schools who were overweight or obese in the sixth grade had 21 percent lower odds of being obese by the end of the eighth grade compared with students in control schools. Nationally, about one-third of children are overweight or obese, but in schools participating in the study, half of students were overweight or obese in sixth grade.

"Decreasing the number of obese children can have profound effects on diabetes risk in young people, since obese youth are at greatest risk of metabolic abnormalities," Foster said.

At the end of the study, 35 percent of children in both intervention and comparison schools with a BMI in the 95th percentile or greater had high insulin readings, compared with 2 percent of students whose BMI was less than the 85th percentile.

The program also lowered average levels of fasting insulin and the number of students with a waist at or over the 90th percentile in students in intervention schools compared with comparison schools. A high blood level of insulin after an overnight fast and a large waist increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, independent of body weight. However, the two groups did not differ in mean glucose levels or the percentage of students with elevated fasting glucose. A higher-than-normal level of fasting blood sugar indicates a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The results of the HEALTHY Study appear online in the New England Journal of Medicine June 27, 2010, and coincide with presentation of the results at the 70th annual scientific sessions of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in Orlando, Fla. The study was funded by the NIDDK, a part of the National Institutes of Health, and
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Contact: Joan Chamberlain
niddkmedia@mail.nih.gov
301-222-7886
NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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