Metabolic abnormalities, reduced insulin sensitivity, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are present in children as young as 2 years old, found a study of 219 children whose body mass index had changed from normal to overweight or obese in the prior 12
months (Shashaj B et al. JAMA Pediatr. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.900 [published online August 11, 2014]).
Of the study’s entire cohort of 5729 children (ages 2-6 years), 10.4% were classified as overweight or obese. A subset of these heavy children (219) had oral glucose tolerance tests and were tested for fatty liver, intimal medial thickness of the common carotid arteries, subcutaneous adipose tissue, and visceral adipose tissue. More than one-third (39.3%) of those tested had at least 1 metabolic abnormality, and 6.4% had 2 or more abnormalities. Hypertension was present in 29 patients (13.2%), dyslipidemia in 55 patients (25.1%), impaired fasting glucose level in 7 patients (3.2%), glucose intolerance in 6 patients (2.7%), and NAFLD in 68 patients (31.1%).
Slomski A. Overweight Preschoolers Headed for Cardiometabolic Problems. JAMA. 2014;312(12):1184. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.12511