Teenage Girls Obesity and MS Link

November 22, 2009


Teenage girls are often obsessed with weight, and a lot of emphasis naturally has been put on the fight against anorexia and false body image. However, the reverse is also flagging up a problem as recent research has shown that girls who were obese at age 18 faced double the risk of developing multiple sclerosis as adults.

The study is part of a very long running research project by the Nurses’ Health Study in the USA and found a much higher relative risk of MS among those girls who had a body mass index value of 30 or more at age 18. They have speculated that it could be related to inadequate levels of vitamin D or the systemic inflammation that is also associated with obesity. Those who are obese are often found to have very low levels of vitamin D.

Interestingly being overweight in childhood did not carry a similar risk, it was the weight as they reached 18-20 that was significant so it’s worth keeping an eye on teenage girls weight as they reach mid teens, if they will let you.


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