Expert Norman Pollock Overweight teens are already presumed to struggle with risk factors such as insulin resistance. Another health concern seems to have surfaced for such individuals. In a major breakthrough, experts from the Georgia Health Sciences University’s Georgia Prevention Institute discovered that overweight adolescents also have weaker bones. Total body fat may not affect bone mass, but fat around the middle also known as visceral fat supposedly increases the risk for bad bones.

The study included a total of 143 overweight 14-18 year olds who displayed risk factors like the precursor for diabetes and low levels of the blood-vessel protecting HDL cholesterol. These participants were compared with overweight but otherwise healthy peers. The other risk factors possibly included high fat levels in the blood, higher blood pressure and a larger waist size. It was then observed that total body fat may not interfere with bones. It is the visceral fat that purportedly elevates the threat of developing bad bones.

It was mentioned that the more risk factors an individual has, the less bone mass there may be. During the study, it was pointed out that 62 percent of the overweight adolescents had at least one risk factor. Participants without one or more of these risk factors may tend to get slightly more vigorous physical activity although none of the participants got the recommended 60-plus minutes of daily physical activity. Dr. Norman Pollock, GHSU bone biologist and corresponding author of the study and colleagues noted that daily caloric intake for all study participants was in the optimal range.

The study is published in The Journal of Pediatrics.