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Background: Overweight and obesity are established risk factors for insulin resistance in youth. A number of behavioral recommendations have been publicized with the goal of improving glycemic control. However, there is limited information about whether meeting these behavioral recommendations actually reduces insulin resistance. Findings: 92 youths 11 - 16 years with BMI ≥ 85% underwent oral glucose tolerance testing. HOMA-IR and AUCInsulin/AUCGlucose were calculated as measures of insulin resistance. Dietary and physical activity (PA) measures were performed. Assessments included whether or not participants met recommended levels of diet, PA and sedentary behaviors. 62% youths met criteria for insulin resistance. 82% (75/92) met at least one behavioral recommendation. Participants who met ≥ 1 dietary, sedentary, or PA recommendations had significantly reduced insulin resistance as compared with youth who did not. This relationship remained significant in multivariate modeling of insulin resistance adjusting for age, sex, and BMI. Conclusions: Even relatively minor behavior change may reduce insulin resistance in youth at risk for diabetes. Our findings support the relevance of current behavioral interventions for glycemic control.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access


© 2011 Huang et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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