European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 152, Issue 2, pp 128–131 | Cite as

Meal-induced thermogenesis in obese children with or without familial history of obesity

  • C. Maffeis
  • Y. Schutz
  • L. Zoccante
  • L. Pinelli
Metabolic Diseases


Resting metabolic rate (RMR) and the thermic effect of a meal (TEM) were measured in a group of 26 prepubertal children divided into three groups: (1) children with both parents obese (n=8, group OB2); (2) children with no obese parents and without familial history of obesity (n=8, OB0); and (3) normal body weight children (n=10, C). Average RMR was similar in OB2 and OB0 children (4785±274 kJ/day vs 5091±543 kJ/day), but higher (P<0.05) than in controls (4519±322 kJ/day). Adjusted for fat-free mass (FFM) mean RMRs were comparable in the three groups of children (4891±451 kJ/day vs 5031±451 kJ/day vs 4686±451 kJ/day in OB2, OB0, and C, respectively). The thermic response to the mixed meal was similar in OB2, OB0 and C groups. The TEM calculated as the percentage of RMR was lower (P<0.05) in obese than in control children: 10.2%±3.1% vs 10.9%±4.3% vs 14.0%±4.3% in OB2, OB0, and C, respectively. The similar RMR as absolute value as well as adjusted for FFM, and the comparable thermic effect of food in the obese children with or without familial history of obesity, failed to support the view that family history of obesity can greatly influence the RMR and the TEM of the obese child with obese parents.

Key words

Resting metabolic rate Meal induced thermogenesis Obesity Children Familial dependence 



fat-free mass


resting metabolic rate


respiratory quotient


thermic effect of meal


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Maffeis
    • 1
  • Y. Schutz
    • 2
  • L. Zoccante
    • 1
  • L. Pinelli
    • 3
  1. 1.Regional Centre for Juvenile Diabetes, Institute of PaediatricsUniversity of Verona PoliclinicoVeronaItaly
  2. 2.Institute of PhysiologyUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  3. 3.Chair of Preventive and Social PaediatricsUniversity of VeronaItaly

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