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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Sep;16(9):2039-45. doi: 10.1038/oby.2008.329.

Baseline correlates of insulin resistance in inner city high-BMI African-American children.

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  • 1Center for Weight and Health, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA.


To characterize the influence of diet-, physical activity-, and self-esteem-related factors on insulin resistance in 8- 10-year-old African-American (AA) children with BMI greater than the 85th percentile who were screened to participate in a community-based type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) prevention trial. In 165 subjects, fasting glucose- and insulin-derived values for homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) assessed insulin resistance. Body fatness was calculated following bioelectrical impedance analysis, and fitness was measured using laps from a 20-m shuttle run. Child questionnaires assessed physical activity, dietary habits, and self-esteem. Pubertal staging was assessed using serum levels of sex hormones. Parent questionnaires assessed family demographics, family health, and family food and physical activity habits. Girls had significantly higher percent body fat but similar anthropometric measures compared with boys, whereas boys spent more time in high-intensity activities than girls. Scores for self-perceived behavior were higher for girls than for boys; and girls desired a more slender body. Girls had significantly higher insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), compared with boys (P < 0.01). Adjusting for age, sex, pubertal stage, socioeconomic index (SE index), and family history of diabetes, multivariate regression analysis showed that children with higher waist circumference (WC) (P < 0.001) and lower Harter's scholastic competence (SC) scale (P = 0.044) had higher insulin resistance. WC and selected self-esteem parameters predicted insulin resistance in high-BMI AA children. The risk of T2DM may be reduced in these children by targeting these factors.

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