Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome among obese adolescents enrolled in a multidisciplinary weight management program: clinical correlates and response to treatment

Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2009 Jun;7(3):179-86. doi: 10.1089/met.2008.0038.


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome at baseline and after 6 months of lifestyle modification among obese adolescents referred to a multidisciplinary weight management program.

Methods: A total of 165 obese adolescents were evaluated at baseline, and measurements were repeated in 57 subjects who completed 6 months of the program. Metabolic syndrome was defined as having three or more of the following: a body mass index (BMI) >97(th) percentile, hypertension, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), hypertriglyceridemia, and impaired fasting glucose (IFG).

Results: The prevalence of a BMI >97(th) percentile, hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, low HDL-C, and IFG was 92.7, 54.5, 29.1, 26.7, and 2.4%, respectively. The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome at baseline was 30.3%. After 6 months of lifestyle modification, BMI z scores, percent body fat, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) decreased significantly from baseline; however, there was no significant change in the number of subjects demonstrating >or=three criteria of the metabolic syndrome.

Conclusions: Approximately one third of the study subjects met the criteria of the metabolic syndrome, emphasizing the growing concern for the future development of premature cardiovascular disease in this high-risk population. Our data suggest that new strategies for lifestyle modification may be needed to improve cardiovascular risk factors significantly among adolescents with obesity.

Trial registration: NCT00167830.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Diet Therapy
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / pathology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Weight Loss


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Triglycerides

Associated data