Development of insulin resistance and its relation to diet in the obese child
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- Cañete, R., Gil-Campos, M., Aguilera, C.M. et al. Eur J Nutr (2007) 46: 181. doi:10.1007/s00394-007-0648-9
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The incidence rate of obesity in youth has continued to increase worldwide and about 30% of obese children display insulin resistance (IR) and other metabolic abnormalities. The present study reviews the mechanisms for development of IR in the obese child and possible links between IR and dietary factors in childhood and adolescence. Although increased concentrations of plasma free fatty acids (FFA) and their counter part at intracellular level, long-chain acyl-coenzyme A (LC acyl-CoA), have been related to the early onset of IR in childhood obesity, a new endocrine paradigm states that adipose tissue secretes a wide variety of hormones and cytokines that regulate lipid energy metabolism. These hormonal changes precede any changes in metabolites such as FFA and glucose and appear to be associated with early IR in childhood. Excessive caloric intake increases IR in children; opposite, substantial reduction of overweight achieved by a hypocaloric diet decreases it. Elevated consumption of animal protein, particularly in early life, as well as diets rich in saturated, trans, and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and diets with a high carbohydrate to fat ratio, besides a high glycaemic and low-fiber diet also appear to exacerbate adiposity and IR.