Childhood obesity treatment; Effects on BMI SDS, body composition, and fasting plasma lipid concentrations

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OBJECTIVE: The body mass index (BMI) standard deviation score (SDS) may not adequately reflect changes in fat mass during childhood obesity treatment. This study aimed to investigate associations between BMI SDS, body composition, and fasting plasma lipid concentrations at baseline and during childhood obesity treatment.

METHODS: 876 children and adolescents (498 girls) with overweight/obesity, median age 11.2 years (range 1.6-21.7), and median BMI SDS 2.8 (range 1.3-5.7) were enrolled in a multidisciplinary outpatient treatment program and followed for a median of 1.8 years (range 0.4-7.4). Height and weight, body composition measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and fasting plasma lipid concentrations were assessed at baseline and at follow-up. Lipid concentrations (total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), non-HDL, and triglycerides (TG)) were available in 469 individuals (264 girls). Linear regressions were performed to investigate the associations between BMI SDS, body composition indices, and lipid concentrations.

RESULTS: At baseline, BMI SDS was negatively associated with concentrations of HDL (p = 6.7*10-4) and positively with TG (p = 9.7*10-6). Reductions in BMI SDS were associated with reductions in total body fat percentage (p<2*10-16) and percent truncal body fat (p<2*10-16). Furthermore, reductions in BMI SDS were associated with improvements in concentrations of TC, LDL, HDL, non-HDL, LDL/HDL-ratio, and TG (all p <0.0001). Changes in body fat percentage seemed to mediate the changes in plasma concentrations of TC, LDL, and non-HDL, but could not alone explain the changes in HDL, LDL/HDL-ratio or TG. Among 81 individuals with available lipid concentrations, who increased their BMI SDS, 61% improved their body composition, and 80% improved their lipid concentrations.

CONCLUSION: Reductions in the degree of obesity during multidisciplinary childhood obesity treatment are accompanied by improvements in body composition and fasting plasma lipid concentrations. Even in individuals increasing their BMI SDS, body composition and lipid concentrations may improve.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0190576
JournalP L o S One
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

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