Obesity in adolescence 'can lead to permanent bone loss'

24 November 2016

Teenagers who are overweight and obese may be putting their bone health at lifelong risk, according to a new study.

Conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, the research recruited 23 obese adolescents with a mean age of 17 years and a mean body mass index of 44 kg per sq m.

It was shown that levels of growth hormone, which is important for bone health, is lower in adolescents with visceral obesity, with a high amount of visceral fat coupled with a low amount of muscle mass putting adolescents at risk for a weakened bone structure.

As adolescence is the point in human development where people accrue their peak bone mass, bone loss during this time is a serious and potentially irreversible health problem.

Dr Miriam Bredella, an associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School, said: "The best way to prevent bone loss is a healthy diet that contains adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D, along with sufficient exercise."

Posted by Edward Bartel


Health News is provided by Axonn Media in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Axonn Media and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...


Orthopaedic surgery

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)