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Journal Articles European Journal of Nutrition Year : 2023

Clinical and physical characteristics of thinness in adolescents: the HELENA study

Abstract

Purpose Thinness in adolescence has not been studied as extensively as overweight or obesity. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence, characteristics, and health impacts of thinness in a European adolescent population. Methods This study included 2711 adolescents (1479 girls, 1232 boys). Blood pressure, physical fitness, sedentary behaviors, physical activity (PA), and dietary intake were assessed. A medical questionnaire was used to report any associated diseases. A blood sample was collected in a subgroup of the population. Thinness and normal weight were identified using the IOTF scale. Thin adolescents were compared with adolescents of normal weight. Results Two hundred and fourteen adolescents (7.9%) were classified as being thin; the prevalence rates were 8.6% in girls and 7.1% in boys. Systolic blood pressure was significantly lower in adolescents with thinness. The age at the first menstrual cycle was significantly later in thin female adolescents than in those with normal weight. Upper-body muscular strength measured in performance tests and time spent in light PA were significantly lower in thin adolescents. The Diet Quality Index was not significantly lower in thin adolescents, but the percentage of adolescents who skipped breakfast was higher in adolescents with a normal weight (27.7% vs 17.1%). Serum creatinine level and HOMA-insulin resistance were lower and vitamin B12 level was higher in thin adolescents. Conclusions Thinness affects a notable proportion of European adolescents with no physical adverse health consequences.

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hal-04067983 , version 1 (13-04-2023)

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Jérémy Vanhelst, Laurent Béghin, Elodie Drumez, Manuel Castillo, Anthony Kafatos, et al.. Clinical and physical characteristics of thinness in adolescents: the HELENA study. European Journal of Nutrition, 2023, ⟨10.1007/s00394-023-03104-0⟩. ⟨hal-04067983⟩
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