The Effect of Childhood Obesity or Sarcopenic Obesity on Metabolic Syndrome Risk in Adolescence: The Ewha Birth and Growth Study

Hyunjin Park, Seunghee Jun, Hye Ah Lee, Hae Soon Kim, Young Sun Hong, Hyesook Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in the pediatric population has increased globally. We evaluated the impact of childhood obesity and sarcopenic obesity on the risk of MetS in adolescence using the Ewha Birth and Growth Cohort study data. In this study, we analyzed data from 227 participants who were followed up at the ages of 7–9 and 13–15 years. Overweight and obesity were defined as a body mass index of the 85th percentile or higher based on national growth charts, and sarcopenic obesity was defined using body composition data. Metabolic diseases in adolescence were identified by calculating the pediatric simple metabolic syndrome score (PsiMS), continuous metabolic syndrome score (cMetS), and single-point insulin sensitivity estimator (SPISE) as MetS indices. The prevalence of overweight was approximately 15% at both 7–9 and 13–15 years old, and that of sarcopenic obesity (7–9 years old) was 19.5%. Boys aged 13–15 years had a significantly larger waist circumference (WC) and higher systolic blood pressure (SBP) than girls. The MetS indices (PsiMS, cMetS, and SPISE) showed no significant differences by gender. Overweight and sarcopenic obese people have a higher overall risk of MetS components than normal people. The overweight group had a significantly higher prevalence of PsiMS and cMetS than the normal group, while the SPISE was significantly lower and the MetS indicator was worse in the overweight group than in the normal group. Similar results were obtained in the group with sarcopenic obesity. Both overweight and sarcopenic obesity remained significantly associated with MetS indicators, even after adjusting for covariates. Furthermore, metabolic health assessed by the cMetS in adolescence was affected not only by childhood overweight but also by adolescence, which showed an interaction effect. The results of this study emphasize the importance and need for early detection of childhood obesity and effective public health interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • PsiMS
  • adolescent
  • cMetS
  • childhood obesity
  • metabolic syndrome


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