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Child’s Waist Equals Risk of Diabetes

A child’s waist circumference may be the best predictor of the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease later in life, according to a study of 2,188 Australians who were followed for an average 20 years from childhood.

The study’s first tests were conducted when participants were between the ages of 7 and 15 years; tests included body mass index, waist and hip circumferences, and skinfold measures. In adulthood, participants were tested for metabolic syndrome.

Researchers noted that, although all tests were good indicators of metabolic health, waist circumference was the best predictor overall. Individuals whose waist circumferences were in the top 25 percent for their gender and childhood age were five to six times more likely to have metabolic syndrome at ages 26 to 36 than those with waist circumferences in the lowest 25 percent.

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