More than a quarter of otherwise healthy six-year-old children may have metabolic risk factors that put them at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, according to results from an Acta Paediatrica study.
Among 212 children in the study, 26 percent showed abnormal metabolic profiles, including insulin resistance, a sign of type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance was present in 28 percent of those with overweight or obesity and 5 percent of those with normal weight. Waist circumference was a stronger marker for metabolic alterations than body mass index.
“The study that included otherwise healthy full-term children shows that metabolic alterations within the scope of the metabolic syndrome, mostly due to overweight and obesity, are present already in preschoolers. Based on these findings, there is a need to optimize more effective prevention and intervention modalities before obesity is established,” said lead author Dr. Emma Kjellberg, of Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital, in Sweden.