Researchers in Southern California have found a link between obesity in girls and an increased risk of developing MS. The group used data from a pediatric health study, which included nearly a million kids. They compared 75 children and teens diagnosed with MS or clinically isolated syndrome between the ages of 2 and 18 and compared their body mass index (BMI - which had been measured before their symptoms appeared) to the rest of the kids who didn't have MS. Here is what they found:
- 51% of the kids and teens with MS were obese, compared to 37% of the young people without MS.
- The risk of developing MS was 1.5 times higher for overweight girls than for girls of normal weight.
- Among moderately obese girls, the risk increased to 1.8 times that of normal weight girls.
- This is the one that got me - among girls who were labeled "extremely obese," (BMI of ) the risk of developing MS was almost four times (3.76 times) that of normal weight girls.
- This association was not seen in boys.
The authors conclude that we will see a rise in MS cases as the childhood and adolescent obesity epidemic continues to grow.
Here is a link to the abstract: Childhood obesity and risk of pediatric multiple sclerosis and clinically isolated syndrome