Current literature shows that cardiometabolic risk factors are more prevalent among overweight or obese children and young adults than among those of healthy weight. However, the use of only a single category for obesity does not take into account the varying severity of obesity.
With that in mind, a recent study performed a cross-sectional analysis of overweight or obese children and young adults who were included in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to assess the prevalence of multiple cardiometabolic risk factors according to the severity of obesity.
Among the 8579 children and young adults with a body-mass index at the 85th percentile or higher – 46.9% were overweight, 36.4% had class I obesity, 11.9% had class II obesity, and 4.8% had class III obesity.
The results showed that the greater the severity of obesity, the higher the risks of a low HDL cholesterol level, high systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and high triglyceride and glycated hemoglobin levels. In addition, mean values for these cardiometabolic variables were higher in male participants than in female participants.