Identifying early abdominal obesity risk in adolescents by telemedicine: A cross-sectional study in Greece

Food Chem Toxicol. 2020 Oct;144:111532. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2020.111532. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

Abstract

Obesity and thus, lipotoxicity, is a major health risk factor. Modern exposure to environmental chemicals has contributed significantly to the obesity epidemic. The purpose of this study was to assess, via telemedicine and using bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) in schools, the levels of adiposity and other body composition parameters of Greek adolescents in relation with their metabolic syndrome (MetS) characteristics. A representative sample (1575 adolescents, 14.4 ± 1.7 years-old) of the Attica region population, underwent body composition assessment of fat mass (FM), fat-free mass (FFM), and total body water (TBW) and was evaluated for anthropometric and MetS characteristics. Males demonstrated higher FFM% and TBW% but lower FM% than females. Adolescents with abdominal obesity/MetS (n = 149/n = 40) demonstrated significantly (P < 0.001) higher body mass index (BMI 27.8 ± 3.8 kg/m2/30.2 ± 4.2 kg/m2) and FM (33.6 ± 9.7%/35.0 ± 10.5%) but significantly (P < 0.001) lower FFM (34.2 ± 5.7%/33.8 ± 6.2%) and TBW (45.6 ± 6.7%/44.6 ± 7.2%) than adolescents without abdominal obesity/MetS (BMI 20.9 ± 2.8 kg/m2/21.3 ± 3.2 kg/m2; FM 19.2 ± 6.9%/20.2 ± 8.0%; FFM 41.3 ± 4.4%/40.8 ± 4.8%; TBW 55.5 ± 4.8%/54.8 ± 5.5%). Findings suggest that early "osteosarcopenic" elements of abdominal obesity/MetS may exist even in adolescence. The application of BIA, incorporated in the new approach methodology of telemedicine in schools, identified adolescents at risk for obesity complications.

Keywords: Abdominal obesity; Adolescents; Body composition; Metabolic syndrome; School telemedicine; Waist circumference.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electric Impedance
  • Female
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity, Abdominal / diagnosis*
  • Obesity, Abdominal / epidemiology
  • Pediatric Obesity / diagnosis*
  • Pediatric Obesity / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Schools
  • Telemedicine*