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Childhood Weight Gain Found To Increase The Risk of Diabetes

by Medindia Content Team on  March 2, 2004 at 1:43 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Childhood Weight Gain Found To Increase The Risk of Diabetes
Being overweight in childhood can no longer be considered a benign condition or one related only to appearance. Recent study shows nearly 60 percent of overweight children have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
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The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing rapidly in developing countries such as India. Researchers say the epidemic of type 2 diabetes in developing countries has been attributed to what is called nutritional transition. Nutritional transition is the increased availability of food, reduced physical activity, and increases in obesity. But type 2 diabetes may originate from what happens during fetal development or childhood weight gain. Previous studies have shown high rates of diabetes in people who were born small but became overweight adults.

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Researchers in India conducted a new study to try to pinpoint and understand the connection between low birth weight, future obesity, and the risk for type 2 diabetes .Researchers evaluated the glucose tolerance and plasma insulin concentrations in 1,492 men and women between 26 and 32 years old. Researchers had the records for all the participants that included birth weight and weight every three to six months throughout infancy, during childhood, and into adolescence. The study reports 10.8 percent of the participants suffered from impaired glucose tolerance, and 4.4 percent were diagnosed with diabetes. Researchers noted these participants typically had a low body mass index up to 2 years of age, followed by an increase in weight gain. However, despite the increase in weight gain, none of the participants were obese at age 12. Researchers conclude there is an association between impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes in young adulthood for children born with a low birth weight. They also say if a low birth weight child crosses into higher categories of weight after age 2, they are at an increased risk for the disease.

Current research raises several important issues, yet it is still unclear if delaying weight gain or changing the timing of it would reverse the negative health impacts say researchers.
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