Weight gain in puberty could elevate chances of developing diabetes in future, study finds


A new study report published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism has revealed that boys who gain a lot of weight during their puberty are at an increased risk of developing diabetes in the future.

The study conducted a team of Swedish researchers initially examined the body mass index (BMI) measurements of more than 36,176 men when they were just eight years old and later repeated the same when they were 20.

Later, the study team followed the men through health records beginning from age 30 for an average of almost three decades. In this time span, 1,777 participants developed diabetes, and the research report indicated that men who gained weight during puberty are four times likely to become diabetes victims in the latter phases of their lives.

It should be also noted that men who were overweight as kids, but not during puberty were less likely to develop diabetes, that those participants who maintained a healthy weight throughout their childhood.

In this study, researchers mainly focused on type 2 diabetes, a most common form of diabetes that claims millions of lives every year. Type 2 diabetes usually happens when fails to make use of insulin to convert blood sugar into energy. Type 2 diabetes will result in various complications including amputations, nerve damages, kidney failure and blindness.

"The change in weight status through puberty conferred an independent and higher risk than simply having a high BMI through childhood. If the children reach puberty with increased BMI, they should be encouraged to work on decreasing the BMI as they go through puberty. Changing weight status from childhood through adulthood appeared to negate the effect of increased BMI as a child," said Elif Arioglu Oral, a diabetes researcher at the University of Michigan who was not involved in the study, Reuters reports.

As the research report has surfaced online, experts have recommended kids in puberty to embrace healthy eating habits and regular exercise for a healthier future.