The worldwide epidemic of childhood obesity in the last decades is responsible for the occurrence in pediatrics of disorders once mainly found in adults, such as the metabolic syndrome. A key factor in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome is insulin resistance, a phenomenon occurring mainly in obese subjects with a general resistance to the insulin effect only on carbohydrates metabolism. Given that the metabolic syndrome is driven by obesity, the prevalence of the latter will strongly influence the prevalence of metabolic syndrome. This article addresses the causes of metabolic syndrome and the relevance of obesity in the pediatric population.
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