Skip to main content

The double burden of obesity and iron deficiency on children and adolescents in Greece: the Healthy Growth Study

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

Abstract
Background

Some small cohort studies have noted that obesity co‐exists with lower serum iron levels. The present study aimed to examine the association between being overweight and iron deficiency (ID) in a large cohort of Greek children and adolescents.
Methods

A representative sample of 2492 primary schoolchildren aged 9–13 years old was examined. Anthropometric, biochemical, clinical, dietary intake and physical activity data were collected.
Results

The prevalence of ID and iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) was higher in obese boys and girls compared to their normal‐weight peers (< 0.05). Serum ferritin was higher in obese compared to normal‐weight boys (= 0.024) and higher in obese compared to normal‐weight and overweight girls (= 0.001). By contrast, a negative association was found between transferrin saturation and adiposity in both boys and girls (= 0.001 and = 0.005). Furthermore, obese girls had significantly higher fibre intake than normal‐weight girls (= 0.048) and also overweight and obese boys and girls recorded significantly fewer pedometer steps than their normal‐weight peers (< 0.001). Finally, obesity more than doubled the likelihood of ID in both boys (odds ratio = 2.83; 95% confidence inteval = 1.65–4.85) and girls (odds ratio = 2.03; 95% confidence interval = 1.08–3.81) after controlling for certain lifestyle and clinical indices as potential confounders.
Conclusions

The present study shows that obese children and adolescents were at greater risk for ID and IDA than their normal‐weight peers. Low grade inflammation induced by excessive adiposity may be a reason for the observed low iron levels. This is also strengthened by the elevated serum ferritin levels, comprising an acute phase protein that is plausibly increased in inflammation.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jhn.12025

Publication date: 2013-10-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more