Health Risks of Sarcopenic Obesity in Overweight Children and Adolescents: Data from the CHILT III Programme (Cologne)

Carolin Sack, Nina Ferrari, David Friesen, Fabiola Haas, Marlen Klaudius, Lisa Schmidt, Gabriel Torbahn, Hagen Wulff, Christine Joisten

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Sarcopenic obesity is increasingly found in youth, but its health consequences remain unclear. Therefore, we studied the prevalence of sarcopenia and its association with cardiometabolic risk factors as well as muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness using data from the German Children's Health InterventionaL Trial (CHILT III) programme. In addition to anthropometric data and blood pressure, muscle and fat mass were determined with bioelectrical impedance analysis. Sarcopenia was classified via muscle-to-fat ratio. A fasting blood sample was taken, muscular fitness was determined using the standing long jump, and cardiorespiratory fitness was determined using bicycle ergometry. Of the 119 obese participants included in the analysis (47.1% female, mean age 12.2 years), 83 (69.7%) had sarcopenia. Affected individuals had higher gamma-glutamyl transferase, higher glutamate pyruvate transaminase, higher high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, higher diastolic blood pressure, and lower muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness (each p < 0.05) compared to participants who were 'only' obese. No differences were found in other parameters. In our study, sarcopenic obesity was associated with various disorders in children and adolescents. However, the clinical value must be tested with larger samples and reference populations to develop a unique definition and appropriate methods in terms of identification but also related preventive or therapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 05.01.2022


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