Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics

, Volume 48, Issue 2–3, pp 73–78 | Cite as

Childhood obesity and insulin resistance

  • Noel K MaclarenEmail author
  • Sahil Gujral
  • Svetlana Ten
  • Roja Motagheti
Original Paper


Insulin resistance (IR) in childhood has importance to the understanding and prevention of the growing epidemic of insulin resistance syndrome (IRS) in adults with attendant obesity, type 2 diabetes (T2DM), atherosclerotic diseases, hypertension, gout, non-alcoholic, steato-hepatitis (NASH), gall bladder disease, nephropathy, polycystic ovarian disease (PCOS), infertility and premature senility. The severity of IR and its’ complications in children unfortunately and usually progresses in their pubertal transition to adulthood; affected young children are more likely than adults to have underlying causal monogenic disorders; the sequence of natural history and events give insights into disease pathogeneses, and optimal life style choices that last are best made during the early formative years. Some features of IR in children discussed herein are: a strong tendency to low birth weight for gestational age, adverse effects of adrenarche and therapeutic steroid therapy, predisposition to premature pubarche, acanthosis nigricans, tall stature despite pituitary GH suppression, allergic diathesis, hyperandrogenism and PCOS, dyslipidemia and fatty liver disease, and diagnosis by clinical and biochemical markers of IR including insulin regulated hepatic hormonal binding proteins such as IGFBP-1. The national preoccupation with the “metabolic syndrome” T2DM and obesity, should be appropriately directed to an improved understanding of IR in children and their management, if the looming health crisis in affected adults is to be seriously addressed. The nation is facing its’ first generation of children who will be less healthy and die younger than the previous generation (Marks (2005) Presentation to the American Association of Diabetes Educators 32nd Annual Meeting and Exhibition, August 10–13, Washington, DC).


Insulin resistance Obesity Insulin resistance syndrome Polycystic ovarian syndrome Insulin like growth factor binding proteins Children at risk 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noel K Maclaren
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sahil Gujral
    • 1
  • Svetlana Ten
    • 1
  • Roja Motagheti
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Pediatric EndocrinologyInfants and Children’s Hospital of Brooklyn at MaimonidesNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Division of Pediatric EndocrinologyWeill-Cornell College of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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