Washington [US], May 13 (ANI): A new study has found that girls are more likely than boys to develop metabolic alterations associated with obesity, such as high blood pressure and excessive blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides (dyslipidemia).
The study was conducted in Brazil on 92 adolescents. The findings of the study were published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.
The study was conducted with FAPESP's support by scientists affiliated with the University of Sao Paulo's Biomedical Sciences Institute (ICB-USP) and the Medical School of Santa Casa de Misericordia de Sao Paulo (FCM-SCMSP).
According to the authors, the obese girls displayed a pattern of lipid profile alterations not seen in girls without obesity and a higher propensity to develop cardiovascular disease in adulthood.
"We found that girls have a much greater tendency to undergo the alterations typical of obesity, such as elevated blood pressure and dyslipidemia. In our study, they had augmented levels of triglycerides and LDL, so-called 'bad cholesterol', while HDL, 'good cholesterol', was lower than in eutrophic [normal weight] girls," said Estefania Simoes, first author of the article.
The lipid profile of the obese boys included in the study displayed no significant differences from that of normal-weight boys, according to the researchers.
Childhood obesity is a growing concern among health authorities and scientists in the field. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that some 340 million children aged 5-19 worldwide were overweight or obese in 2016. It is well known that childhood obesity is associated with a higher likelihood of metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease in adulthood.
A substantial amount of research shows this, but the differences between boys and girls in terms of the effects of obesity have not been studied in depth.
"We compared obese and non-obese girls and boys aged 11-18, simultaneously addressing anthropometrics, lipid and lipoprotein profile, and hormone and neuropeptide levels, with a special emphasis on sex-dependent responses. To our knowledge, this is the first study to take this multifactor approach," Simoes said.