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

 


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