Teenage Obesity and future diabetes, heart disease

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Submitted by Dr T on April 10, 2011 – 8:54am

Obese teenagers are at risk for diabetes and heart disease in the future

In a new study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine (1), 37,000 Israeli teen aged men  were followed for 17 years. Body Mass Index (BMI) was recorded regularly during the follow-up period. A higher BMI at age 17 was associated with an increased risk for developing Type II diabetes in early adulthood, as well as a higher likelihood of developing coronary artery disease.

The risk was increased significantly, if:

  • BMI > 22.3 (Diabetes),
  • BMI > 20.9 (Cardiovascular disease)

The heaviest teenagers had about three times the risk of developing diabetes compared to the lightest men. While the risk for Diabetes could be eliminated if heavy teens lost weight as adults, for heart disease however, an elevated BMI caused a persistent risk even if the men had lost weight as adults.

This report is consistent with other reports we have mentioned repeatedly on this website:




Diet & Exercise; it is important early in life and remains so throughout your life!

Tell me what you think,


1): (From: Adolescent BMI Trajectory and Risk of Diabetes versus Coronary Disease, Tirosh A., Shai I., Afek A., et al. April 7, 2011, N Engl J Med 2011; 364:1315 – 1325)

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