The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on various health conditions. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on body weight and body mass index (BMI) in Saudi Arabia. We used electronic health records obtained from a healthcare system representing five hospitals in three different regions in the Kingdom to examine the change in weight utilizing a longitudinal design. The study included all adults who had visited outpatient clinics in two different time points, pre-2020 (years 2018 and 2019 prior to COVID-19) and post-2020 (the year 2021). Weight and BMI changes in percentages were described. Also, bivariate chi-square test, paired t-test, and multivariable multinomial logistic regression model were used for the analyses. A total of 165,279 individuals were included in the study. On average, a significant weight gain of 0.33 kg (95% CI: 0.29–0.36) was observed in our study. Approximately 10% of the population had shifted to either overweight or obese BMI classes during the study period, as 4.8% of those with normal BMI pre-2020 had shifted to overweight or obese classes at post-2020, and 5.1% of those who were overweight had shifted to obese class. Also, 23.1% of the population had gained 5% or more of their pre-2020 weight, while 17% had lost 5% or more. Young individuals were over three times more likely to gain 5% or more than older individuals (OR: 3.34; 95% CI: 3.12–3.56). Females had 24% higher odds to gain 5% or more of their pre-2020 weight than males (OR: 1.24; 95% CI: 1.21–1.27). Diabetics were 27% more likely to lose 5% or more than non-diabetics (OR: 1.27; 95% CI: 1.23–1.31). Our findings provide insights into the impact of COVID-19 on weight and population health. Further investment in interventions for weight management is warranted during similar circumstances such as lockdowns due to infection waves or new variants. Future studies are also needed to explore the modifications that have occurred during the pandemic in the weight-related lifestyle factors such as dietary choices and physical activity levels.
Physical activity (PA) has been shown to moderate the negative effects of obesity on pro-inflammatory cytokines but its relationship with the adipokine progranulin (PGRN) remains poorly investigated. This study aimed to examine the cross-sectional main and interactive associations of body mass index (BMI) and PA level with circulating PGRN in older adults.
Five-hundred and twelve subjects aged 70 years and over involved in the Multidomain Alzheimer Prevention Trial (MAPT) Study who underwent plasma PGRN measurements (ng/ml) were included. Self –reported PA levels were assessed using questionnaires. People were classified into three BMI categories: normal weight, overweight or obesity. Further categorization using PA tertiles was used to define highly active, moderately active and low active individuals. Multiple linear regressions were performed in order to test the associations of BMI, PA level, and their interaction with PGRN levels.
Multiple linear regressions adjusted by age, sex, diabetes mellitus status, total cholesterol, creatinine level and MAPT group demonstrated significant interactive associations of BMI status and continuous PA such that in people without obesity, higher PA levels were associated with lower PGRN concentrations, while an opposite pattern was found in individuals with obesity. In addition, continuous BMI was positively associated with circulating PGRN in highly active individuals but not in their less active peers.
This cross-sectional study demonstrated reverse patterns in older adults with obesity compared to those without obesity regarding the relationships between PA and PGRN levels. Longitudinal and experimental investigations are required to understand the mechanisms that underlie the present findings.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa) therapy is used to control puberty progression and it preserves height potential in patients with idiopathic central precocious puberty (ICPP). This study evaluated the correlation between weight and height gain at menarche following GnRHa treatment among girls with ICPP and relatively central early puberty (EP). We investigated height/weight trends and changes in height from diagnosis to menarche in girls with ICPP and EP treated with GnRHa. The mean difference in height (Δheight) from treatment cessation to menarche was 9.79 ± 3.53 cm. Girls were divided into girls with Δheight ≥ 9.79 cm (Group 1) and girls with Δheight < 9.79 cm (Group 2). Although near adult height was significantly higher in Group 1, the mean body mass index (BMI) and weight were significantly lower at diagnosis, treatment discontinuation, and menarche. The BMI and weight at the three time points were negatively correlated with height. Girls with higher BMI at all three time points had slower growth rates during the study period. Considering that BMI and body weight were closely related to Δheight, proper management of BMI and body weight of girls receiving early puberty treatment might contribute to growth during and after GnRHa treatment.
This study aimed to analyze the changes in postural stability of individuals with obesity after bariatric surgery, and the effect of three months of regular exercise on the static postural stability. Twenty-two subjects (7 females and 15 males) aged 31 to 68 years (Body mass index 35–55 kg.m-2) completed the study. Participants were divided into two groups: one group participated in an exercise program after the bariatric surgery (n = 10; age 48.9 ± 7.5 years; Body mass index 42 ± 5.6 kg.m-2) while the second group did not exercise at all after bariatric surgery (n = 12; age 44.7 ± 13.6 years, Body mass index 42.6 ± 6.0 kg.m-2). Static postural stability was measured using a Tekscan MobileMat pressure plate before and 4 months after the bariatric surgery. The exercise program included exercising three times a week including: one hour of strengthening, one hour of aerobic group exercise and at least one session of individual exercise at home. There were no significant differences in Center of force sway, Center of force ranges and average speed before and 4 months after bariatric surgery. Also, no effect of exercise was found. Post-pre differences of some parameters were negatively related to age (r from—0.46 to—0.72). Further studies are needed to explore this topic in depth.
We conducted this study to investigate the associations between hematological parameters and obesity in children and adolescents. The levels of hematological parameters (including white blood cells [WBCs], red blood cells [RBCs], hemoglobin [Hb], hematocrit [Hct], and platelets) of 7997 participants (4259 boys and 3738 girls) aged 10–18 years were recorded. The parameters were compared among participants with normal weight, overweight, and obesity. Significantly higher mean levels of WBCs (7.16 vs. 6.16 × 103/mm3, p < 0.001), RBCs (4.90 vs. 4.82 × 106/mm3, p < 0.001), Hb (14.07 vs. 13.99 g/dL, p < 0.05), Hct (42.31 vs. 41.91%, p < 0.001), and platelets (311.87 vs. 282.66 × 103/mm3, p < 0.001) were found in the obese than normal weight group, respectively, after adjusting for body mass index (BMI) and sex. BMI SDS had significant positive associations with the levels of WBCs (β = 0.275, p < 0.001), RBCs (β = 0.028, p < 0.001), Hb (β = 0.034, p < 0.001), Hct (β = 0.152, p < 0.001), and platelets (β = 8.372, p < 0.001) after adjusting for age, sex, and socioeconomic factors in a multiple linear regression analysis. A higher BMI was associated with elevated WBC, RBC, Hb, Hct, and platelet counts in children and adolescents. Because higher levels of hematological parameters are potential risk factors for obesity-related diseases, hematological parameters should be evaluated in obese children and adolescents.