Academic journal article Childhood Obesity

Ability of Measures of Adiposity in Identifying Adverse Levels of Inflammatory and Metabolic Markers in Adolescents

Academic journal article Childhood Obesity

Ability of Measures of Adiposity in Identifying Adverse Levels of Inflammatory and Metabolic Markers in Adolescents

Article excerpt

[Author Affiliation]

José Oliveira-Santos. 1 Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.

Rute Santos. 1 Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal. 2 Early Start Research Institute, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia.

Carla Moreira. 1 Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.

Sandra Abreu. 1 Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.

Luís Lopes. 1 Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.

César Agostinis. 1 Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.

Jorge Mota. 1 Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.

Address correspondence to: José Oliveira-Santos, MSc, Rua Dr. Plácido Costa, 91, 4200-450 Porto, Portugal, E-mail: jomios@gmail.com

Introduction

Overweight and obesity have been associated with a condition of chronic low-grade systemic inflammation even in children1,2 and adolescents,3,4 with evidence of tracking into adulthood,5,6 contributing to an increased risk of cardiovascular disorders and diabetes7 over time.

Several anthropometrical measures, indices, and techniques have been used in epidemiological studies to assess obesity in youngsters, as alternatives to more accurate but hardly feasible laboratory assessment, because of the constraints in time, sample mobilization, and high costs.8 Although BMI is probably the most widely used index to define weight status across populations,9,10 other techniques also provide information on overall adiposity, such as bioelectric impedance and skinfold measurements, with estimates of body fat percentage (BF%).

In addition, other anthropometric measures have focused on abdominal obesity, a known independent risk factor for insulin resistance and cardiovascular diseases in children and adolescents.11,12 Low-grade systemic inflammation in youth has been shown to be associated with high waist circumference (WC),13 waist-to-hip ratio (WHR),14 and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR).15 Moreover, individuals with a greater percentage of visceral fat appear to have higher levels of some circulating cytokines and acute-phase reactants than individuals with a higher percentage of subcutaneous fat,16 suggesting that visceral fat could play a more active role in the development of systemic inflammation. Therefore, the search for one anthropometric measure (or more) that may adequately provide sensitivity and specificity to reflect not only adiposity, but also an adverse inflammatory condition, seems pertinent.

In light of the heterogeneity and lack of previous studies, we aimed to examine and compare different measures of overall obesity such as BMI and BF%, and central obesity like WC, WHtR, and waist-to-sitting-height ratio (WsHtR), with respect to their ability to detect increased levels of inflammatory and metabolic markers in a sample of Portuguese adolescents, trying to verify which measure presents the greatest predictive power for each biomarker.

Methods

Study Design and Sampling

We used baseline data from the Longitudinal Analysis of Biomarkers and Environmental Determinants of Physical Activity Study (LabMed Physical Activity Study), a school-based prospective cohort study carried out in five schools from the north of Portugal, which aimed to evaluate the independent and combined associations of dietary intake and fitness levels on blood pressure levels of adolescents. …

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