A study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism has found that obese teenagers have lower levels of a hormone potentially tied to weight management than teens of normal weights. Findings suggest Spexin may play a role in weight gain, beginning at an early age."
According to the Endocrine Society's "Endocrine Facts and Figures Report" obesity affects about 17 percent of U.S. children. For children and teens, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention defines obesity as having a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex.
The cross-sectional study analyzed Spexin levels between ages 12 and 18.
Researchers tested the blood samples to measure Spexin levels. Researchers divided the teenagers into four groups based on their Spexin levels. Among the participants with the lowest levels of Spexin the odds of having obesity were 5¼ times higher than in the group with the highest levels of the hormone. Unlike what has been noted in adults, there was no association between Spexin levels and fasting glucose. The study concluded that more research is needed to explore the physiological significance of Spexin, how it may be involved in the development of childhood obesity, and whether it can be used to treat or manage the condition."