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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Mar;16(3):547-52. doi: 10.1038/oby.2007.129. Epub 2008 Jan 24.

Meal-related changes in ghrelin, peptide YY, and appetite in normal weight and overweight children.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA. jplome2@email.uky.edu



Ghrelin and peptide YY (PYY) are two gut hormones that have effects on appetite. Our objectives were to characterize the patterns of secretion of these hormones in response to feeding in school-age children and determine whether there were differences between normal weight (NW) and overweight (OW) subjects.


This was a cross-sectional study at one tertiary care center. Subjects were 7- to 11-year-old healthy NW and OW volunteers recruited from local advertisements. Following an overnight fast, the subjects were given a standardized breakfast and lunch and had nine hourly blood samples for total ghrelin and total PYY. We assessed whether ghrelin and PYY levels changed from the preprandial to postprandial state and corresponded to reported hunger/satiety.


Hunger ratings were similar between the two groups throughout the study period. Ghrelin was not suppressed after eating, did not rise prior to the next meal, and did not correspond to hunger ratings in either group. PYY increased postprandially and decreased preprandially in the NW group, but OW children exhibited this pattern for only part of the day. PYY levels incompletely corresponded to reported satiety in the OW group.


Mixed meal consumption had little effect on ghrelin secretion and a variable effect on PYY secretion in young children in our study. Differences that were observed between the groups do not suggest that an abnormality in their secretion contributes to the development of obesity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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