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Minerva Pediatrics 2021 Sep 13

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5276.21.06307-2

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Children and their being "carnivorous": is visceral adiposity protection or promotion?

Luca PECORARO 1, 2, Alessandro FERRUZZI 3, Lucia DE FRANCESCHI 1, Luca DALLE CARBONARE 1, Giorgio PIACENTINI 3, Angelo PIETROBELLI 3, 4

1 Department of Medicine, University of Verona, Verona, Italy; 2 Paediatric Clinic, ASST Mantua, Mantua, Italy; 3 Paediatric Unit, Department of Surgical Sciences, Dentistry, Gynaecology and Paediatrics, University of Verona, Verona, Italy; 4 Pennington Biomedical Research Centre, Baton Rouge, LA, USA


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BACKGROUND: Environmental factors and, in particular, diet, could represent potentially modifiable risk factors for the treatment of childhood obesity. The association between red meat consumption and obesity is demonstrated in adulthood. On the other hand, the association between red meat consumption and obesity is not as clear in children and adolescents. The aim of this study is to test the hypothesis that children and adolescents with obesity are consuming higher quantities of red meat, while still taking into account the appropriate consumption and the overall benefits of red meat itself.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted by using a sample including 41 children and adolescent affected by obesity. Anthropometric measures and eating habits, including red meat consumption, were collected at baseline using a structured and detailed questionnaire. The amount of red meat intake was estimated in portions per week (for clarity, the term portion is equivalent to about 150 grams of red meat).
RESULTS: Red meat consumption correlates with body mass index (BMI) (p<0·01). Waist circumference (WC) values are also directly proportional to the consumption of red meat (p<0·05).
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that red meat consumption correlates with BMI and WC in paediatric age. Considering the opposite results from other study, the association between red meat consumption and obesity seems less clear in paediatric age rather than adulthood. On the other hand, the current state of art emphasizes that there should be more attention in obese and overweight children and adolescents in conjunction with appropriate lifestyle changes in order to achieve adequate waist circumference, BMI and related cardiovascular health. Benefits and risks associated with red meat consumption would seem balanced if consumed in moderate quantities as part of balanced diets with a high intake of vegetables and fruits. Even for the topic “red meat”, the right balance would seem to lie in the middle.


KEY WORDS: Red meat; Childhood obesity; Body mass index; Waist circumference; Nutrition

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