Pioneering research will assess the effects of obesity on bone development

February 3, 2012

Researchers from the University of Sheffield are conducting ground-breaking research to determine how body weight and hormones affect bone health from childhood to adulthood.

The innovative study involves using revolutionary bone to look at the internal structure of bones in detail to assess whether body weight and hormones affect during growth.

The research, funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) for Musculoskeletal Disease will use a state-of-the-art XtremeCT scanner which looks at bones in minute detail, and of which there are only three in the country. The research will take place at the Northern General Hospital and The Children's Hospital Sheffield in partnership with the University.

Dr Paul Dimitri, Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist and research fellow at the University of Sheffield's Academic Unit of is leading the study.

Dr Dimitri said: "There are concerns that obesity may affect how our bones develop from childhood to adulthood and may lead to an increased risk of fracture or osteoporosis. At the moment, we do not fully understand the impact on the skeleton of being overweight during childhood and adulthood."

Obesity is a major health problem in the United Kingdom and nearly one in four adults and one in five children are now considered obese.

Dr Dimitri added: "If we have a better understanding of the factors that affect we can give better advice to patients, and we may eventually be able to develop new treatments for . In this way, the study may be of benefit to thousands of people in the future."

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