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J Hum Nutr Diet. 2008 Apr;21(2):109-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-277X.2008.00848.x.

Calcium intake and its relationship with adiposity and insulin resistance in post-pubertal adolescents.

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Nutrition Department, School of Public Health, São Paulo University, São Paulo, Brazil.



Dietary calcium intake has been described as being a negative contributor to adiposity. In adolescents, this relationship is not well established. The objectives of the present study were to compare the calcium intake of normal-weight and obese adolescents and to evaluate its relationship with adiposity and insulin resistance.


A cross-sectional analysis of 96 post-pubertal adolescents; 47 normal weight and 49 obese, mean age 16.6 (SD +/- 1.3) years. Body composition was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Dietary intake was evaluated using a 3-day dietary record. The biochemical evaluation comprised the measurements of serum lipids, lipoproteins, glucose and insulin. Insulin resistance was calculated using the Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin resistance (HOMA-IR).


The mean calcium intake, adjusted for energy, was lower in obese adolescents, 585.2 (+/-249.9) mg, than in normal weight adolescents, 692.1 (+/-199.5) mg. Only 4% of adolescents had an adequate intake of calcium. Calcium intake was inversely associated with body trunk fat, insulin and HOMA-IR in the obese group. The quartile analysis of calcium intake provided evidence that girls in the highest quartile had decreased adiposity and insulin resistance.


This study showed a negative relationship between calcium intake and body fat and insulin resistance, mainly in obese girls, and demonstrates the importance of an increased dietary calcium intake.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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