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Eur J Endocrinol. 2011 Sep;165(3):435-9. doi: 10.1530/EJE-11-0273. Epub 2011 Jun 29.

Children whose diet contained olive oil had a lower likelihood of increasing their body mass index Z-score over 1 year.

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Hospital Carlos Haya, Servicio de Endocrinología y Nutrición, Laboratorio de investigación, Málaga, Spain.



Changes in eating habits may be influential in the ever-increasing rate of childhood obesity. Our aim was to determine whether those children who consume olive oil have a lower risk of weight gain compared with children who consume other oils.


The study included 18 girls and 74 boys, all aged 13-166 months. A survey was completed for each subject about eating habits and physical activity. A sample of subcutaneous adipose tissue was also obtained for cellular study. Data were recorded on the mean size of the adipocytes, the number of preadipocytes, and the concentration of particular fatty acids. The weight and height of the children were measured 13 months later.


The likelihood that after 1 year the children would have increased their body mass index (BMI) Z-score above the initial score was less in the children who consumed only olive oil (odds ratio (OR)=0.22; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.08-0.63; P=0.005). These results remained after adjusting for age, physical activity and BMI (OR=0.19; 95% CI: 0.06-0.61; P=0.005) and after adjusting for age, physical activity and adipocyte volume (OR=0.15; 95% CI: 0.04-0.52; P=0.003).


Diets with mono unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA)-rich olive oil could reduce the risk of obesity in childhood.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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