Thursday, December 17, 2015
Obesity is a growing public health concern, especially among children and adolescents. Childhood obesity has future health implications such as the growing prevalence of bone problems during adulthood. Now, a recent review has shown that excess body fat may deter bone growth in obese children.
The study published in the journal Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity focuses on how muscle can influence various attributes of bone geometry and strength in children and adolescents. For the review, the researchers looked at previous studies on this topic and also examined the influence of fat on these relationships. Bone strength is better measured by bone geometry than by assessing the bone density. Bone geometry measures the spatial distribution of the bone as well as the bone mineral content.
Muscles influence and contribute to bone growth in children. The researchers thus assumed that obese children would have larger, stronger bones since they tend to have more muscle. Interestingly, they gathered quite the opposite results during the review.
They found that muscle was a strong determinant of bone growth throughout childhood and adolescence. However, the presence of increased body fat during childhood may impair this association. Furthermore, the excess body fat in obese children may get deposited within the muscle. However, the mechanism by which the fat deposition in muscle impairs bone development is still unclear.
The researchers plan to use the review to chart the path for further research. "One of our major goals is to understand how obesity-related conditions, like the progression of type 2 diabetes, can influence muscle and bone growth in children", said the researchers.
For now the writing on the wall is clear. In order to enjoy good health, leading a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and physical activity is the way forward.
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