Even mild weight loss may lower diabetes risk in obese teens

June 7, 2013, HealthDay

Obese teens do not need to lose large amounts of weight to lower their risk of developing diabetes, according to a new study.

Researchers found that obese teens who reduced their body mass index (BMI) by 8 percent or more had improvements in insulin sensitivity, a measure of how well the body processes insulin and an important risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. BMI is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight.

“This threshold effect that occurs at 8 percent suggests that obese adolescents don’t need to lose enormous amounts of weight to achieve improvements,” study co-author Dr. Lorraine Levitt Katz, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Diabetes Center for Children at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said in a hospital news release.

“The improvements in insulin sensitivity occurred after four months of participating in a lifestyle-modification program,” Katz said. Continue reading