Main Article Content
Obesity, young children, metabolic syndrome (MetS), body mass index, catch-up growth.
Background: In Qatar, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in children and adults is increasing in parallel with the markedly increasing trends in obesity rates. Objective: The aim of our study was to assess the prevalence of different components of MetS, measure plasma atherogenic indexes (AIP), and to evaluate linear growth in young obese nondiabetic children (< 5 years) in comparison to older obese children (6-12 years). Methods: We analysed the anthropometric and biochemical profile of 135 random sample obese children who attended to the Paediatric Clinic of Hamad Medical Centre (HGH) in Doha (Qatar) from January 2018 to December 2019. Results: A large proportion of children presented with obesity, around the age of 5 years, were obese at the end of their first year of life (63.8%) and more were obese at the 2 years of age (82.6%). Significantly rapid gain in weight and linear growth occurred during the first 6 months of postnatal life. Moreover, some metabolic risk factors and high AIP occurred more frequently in older obese children compared to young obese children. Conclusions: This study documented the early occurrence of different components of the MetS in young obese children and the progressive increase of their prevalence in older prepubertal children. Most of obese children who presented at or below 5 years of age had significant obesity and rapid linear growth during the first two years (infancy). These two findings pointed out to the necessity to impose early detection and preventive measures on a national scale.
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