New York: While obese children tend to have more muscles, the excess body fat may compromise other functions in their bodies, such as bone growth, says a study.
“It is a common understanding that, in children, muscle is a very strong determinant of how bone is going to grow,” said lead author of the study Joseph Kindler from University of Georgia in the US.
“Obese children will tend to have more muscle, so we would suspect that they would also have larger, stronger bones,” Kindler added.
The researchers studied how muscle can influence different characteristics of bone geometry and strength in children.
Based on an analysis of previously published research, the scientists found that muscle was a strong contributor to bone growth throughout childhood and adolescence.
However, this relationship may differ in children with greater body fat.
The excess fat that accompanies obesity can be deposited within the muscle. There is emerging evidence that suggests this fat within the muscle may have an effect on how the bone grows, the study said.
Excess fat, specifically within the muscle, can influence the muscle and bone relationship in children is still under investigation, but there is clearly a connection, Kindler noted.
There is a potential harmful connection between body fat and bone growth and children should strive to live a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and physical activity, the scientists recommended.
The study was published in the journal Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity.