Skip to content
Date posted: 17 March 2014
Research spanning two decades confirms the increasing weight gain alone is not to blame for the rise in type 1 diabetes in Australian children.
One hypotheses that had gained traction to explain the rise in type 1 diabetes is the belief that children who are bigger and grow faster are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes than their smaller peers who grow more slowly.
According to researchers from Westmead Children's Hospital in Sydney the increase in Body Mass Index (BMI) in young people had stabalised in recent years, resulting in a diminishing role for this particular school of thought.
Their retrospective study of almost 2,000 children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes between 1990 and 2009 confirmed their suspicions.
They discovered that average BMI increased in the first decade but plateaued after 1995. A similar pattern was seen for prevalence of overweight and obesity.
They concluded that overweight and obesity has remained unchanged in children at diagnosis of type 1 diabetes over 15 years and that these findings suggest higher adiposity (fat under the skin and surrounding major organs) alone cannot account for the continued rising incidence of type 1 diabetes in recent years.