Obese Teens At Risk Of Permanent Bone Loss

Posted: Nov 21 2016, 7:12am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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Obese Teens at Risk of Permanent Bone Loss
Image acquired using a SCANCO Medical XtremeCT scanner. Credit: Radiological Society of North America
  • Overweight Status in Teenagers may lead to Long Term Bone Attrition

It has been found that overweight status in teenagers may lead to long term bone attrition.

Teens who also happen to be overweight may be causing permanent damage to their skeletal system. This has been proved by the results of a novel study.

Obesity is a scourge of modern existence. It is associated with CV disease and diabetes among youngsters and adolescents. The more weight our younger generation has the greater the load on their bones which then tend to degenerate and deform.

Earlier, obesity was instead thought to protect bone health. Yet the recent evidence on the contrary proves the trend to be otherwise. Many adolescents have forearm fractures due to their obese status.

The exact link between obesity and bone health in youth was what the scientists set out to gauge in a formal manner. 23 obese teenagers were recruited to take part in the experiment.

The average age was 17 years. BMI was approximately 44 kg/m2. Adolescence is a time when the bone density is at its max so bone loss during this period in one’s life is a serious cause for concern.

Such conditions which are the opposite of obesity such as anorexia nervosa are also linked to increased chances of fractures. This tendency of bone breakage remains constant throughout one’s mature years.

Even with the conquest of health via a normalization of body weight, the problem persists. So, this issue needs attention early onwards. The experts performed a sort of computerized tomography exam to diagnose the condition.

It gauged bone mineral density and microfractures in the bones. Also dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was used to go in depth into this condition. Both lean mass and visceral fat were determined in the body composition tests which took place.

Visceral fat surrounds the internal organs of the human body. Visceral fat has a bad effect on the bones. It lets loose a volley of chemicals that cause inflammation.

This in turn leads to osteoclasts which are cellular structures that break down the bones. Even vitamin D which is essential for the bones gets trapped in this fat. Also growth hormone is lowered in overweight adolescents.

The bones and the hormones not to mention one’s general BMI all determine the outcome for the long term. Especially high visceral fat and low lean muscle mass led to a loss of bone. These findings will help shape future policy regarding teenagers and the obesity epidemic.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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