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J Pediatr. 2001 Apr;138(4):469-73.

Adiposity in childhood predicts obesity and insulin resistance in young adulthood.

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  • 1University of Minnesota Medical School, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Epidemiology, and School of Public Health, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.



To determine whether adiposity in children predicts adiposity, insulin resistance, and abnormal lipid levels in young adults.


Children (n = 31) were recruited into an epidemiologic study at age 13.3 +/- 0.3 years and had blood pressure, weight, and height measured. They were reevaluated at age 21.8 +/- 0.3 years at which time the measurements were repeated, a euglycemic insulin clamp was performed, and fasting lipid levels were measured. All values are expressed as mean +/- SEM. Data were analyzed by analysis of variance and linear regression analysis.


Body mass index (BMI) in childhood (22.6 +/- 0.6) was highly correlated with BMI in young adulthood (26.9 +/- 0.9). Childhood BMI was also inversely correlated with young adult glucose utilization (r = -0.5, P = .006) and positively correlated with total cholesterol (r = 0.37, P = .05), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (r = 0.48, P = .01).


These data confirm that adiposity in childhood is a strong predictor of young adult adiposity. In addition, these results demonstrate that cardiovascular risk in young adulthood is highly related to the degree of adiposity as early as age 13.

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