Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Pediatrics and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

The relationship between visceral fat thickness and bone mineral density in sedentary obese children and adolescents

Ismael Forte Freitas Júnior15, Jefferson Rosa Cardoso25, Diego G Destro Christofaro35, Jamile Sanches Codogno45, Augusto César Ferreira de Moraes5678 and Rômulo Araújo Fernandes159*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Physical Education, UNESP Univ Estadual Paulista, Presidente Prudente, Brazil

2 Department of Physical Therapy, Universidade Estadual de Londrina - UEL, Londrina, Brazil

3 Department of Physical Education, Universidade do Oeste Paulista, Presidente Prudente, Brazil

4 Department of Physical Education, UNESP Univ Estadual Paulista, Rio Claro, Brazil

5 Group of Scientific Research Related to Physical Activity. Department of Physical Education, UNESP Univ Estadual Paulista, Presidente Prudente, Brazil

6 School of Medicine (FMUSP) of the Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

7 GENUD - Growth, Exercise, Nutrition and Development – Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain

8 GEPECIN - Research Group in Nutritional Sciences, Catholic Pontificate University/PR, Maringá, Brazil

9 Universidade Estadual Paulista, Street Roberto Simonsen, 305, Presidente Prudente, SP, ZIP Code: 19060-900, Brazil

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Pediatrics 2013, 13:37  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-13-37

Published: 20 March 2013

Abstract

Background

Among adults, obesity has been positively related to bone mineral density. However, recent findings have pointed out that abdominal obesity could be negatively related to bone density. The above mentioned relationship is not clear among pediatric populations. Therefore, this cross-sectional study analyzed the relationship between thickness of abdominal adipose tissue and bone mineral variables in sedentary obese children and adolescents.

Methods

One hundred and seventy five obese children and adolescents (83 male and 92 female) with ages ranging from 6 to 16 years-old were analyzed. Bone mineral content and density were estimated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and ultrasound equipment which estimated the thickness of the abdominal adipose tissue. Pubertal stage was self-reported by the participants.

Results

The mean age was 11.1 (SD = 2.6). Thickness of the abdominal adipose tissue was negatively related to bone mineral density (r = −0.17 [r95%CI: -0.03;-0.32]), independent of gender, pubertal stage and other confounders (β = −0.134 ± 0.042 [β95%CI: -0.217; -0.050]).

Conclusions

In sedentary obese children and adolescents abdominal obesity is negatively related to bone mineral density, suggesting a potential link between abdominal obesity and osteoporosis.

Keywords:
Child; Adolescents; Obesity; Bone size; Bone density; Ultrasonography