Metabolic syndrome starts early, even in seemingly healthy young children

metabolic syndrome starts early

A new longitudinal study, conducted in Sweden and published in Acta Paediatrica, suggests one or more markers for metabolic syndrome are present in about a quarter of otherwise healthy six-year-olds.

MedPage Today: Metabolic syndrome highly prevalent even in very young kids

Specifically, MedPage Today reports:

In a cohort of 212 Swedish children around 6 years old, 26% possessed at least one of the criteria for metabolic syndrome — including hypertension, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, or a large waist circumference — at a level requiring medical intervention.”

Of note, only 3% of the children studied had obesity. In the United States, childhood obesity rates are much higher: roughly 14% of 2-5 year-olds and 18% of 6-11 year-olds have obesity. Given that some of the markers for metabolic syndrome — specifically insulin resistance and high triglycerides — were many times more common among children with obesity, the number of young American children showing signs of metabolic syndrome would likely be much higher.

More thoughts from the study authors:

It is not common knowledge that metabolic status as well as body composition is influenced in children at this early age. Insulin resistance is a known early risk factor for later health problems. In the early stages, it is reversible, but left untreated; it can lead to irreversible damage.

This study reinforces what we already know: It is never too early to initiate healthy eating patterns. For more, check out our guide: How to raise children on real low-carb food.


Type 2 diabetes rises dramatically among young people

What and when to eat to reduce insulin


How to help transition your children to low-carb real food

Low-carb kids — How to raise children on real lower-carb food

Type 2 diabetes


  1. Delma
    I am 80 yrs. old, with Type 2 diabetes, diabetes-related stage 3 kidney disease, elevated blood pressure, and retinopathy. I've tried to determine exactly when I was diagnosed with diabetes, but only know it was formally discovered over 20 years ago. Yet, when I look back at my childhood, I remember being hungry all the time--I would yearn for lunchtime, especially when I sat in the back of the room next to the little cubbyholes that held our sack lunches. I remember being thirsty a lot and needing to use the restroom. In High School, it was a known fact that I visited my "home away from home" a LOT! Growing up, we ate lots of starchy foods--they were less expensive for a family with 8 children, of whom I was the oldest. Instead of hugs and compassion, my mother gave me Hershey bars, so sweets became my go-to friend for consolation. I'm not blaming anyone, I'm just realizing that your article, regarding childhood metabolic syndrome, is a distinct possibility. It's good to explore these things and make others aware.
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  3. Per Ole Dahlsrud
    You should remove the advertisment for the Keto Weight Loss Program imediately! They are even misusing your name to get people to click on the link.
  4. Gentiann
    To report suspicious posts, click on the small triangle on the right.

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