Background

There is a positive relationship between obesity and insulin resistance. However, research on daily blood glucose variability among youth in a free-living environment is lacking. The purpose of this study is to investigate differences in blood glucose variability between healthy weight and overweight/obese youth within a free-living environment.

Methods

This pilot study consisted of healthy youth (n=15, M [±SD] age=13.1 [±1] years, 66.6% female, 40% Hispanic, 66.6% healthy weight). Participants wore continuous glucose monitors (CGM) to measure interstitial blood glucose variability (blood glucose [BG], glucose area under the curve [AUC], mean amplitude of glycemic excursions [MAGE], and continuous overall net glycemic action [CONGA]). Welch’s t-tests were used to compare differences among CGM measures between healthy weight and overweight/obese adolescents.

Results

Participants contributed an average of 13.3 [±3.2] days of CGM. Overweight/obese participants had greater mean BG [M(±SD) = 90.7(±5.1) vs. 74.4(±20.3) mg/dL; t(13) =-2.4, p=0.036] compared to healthy weight participants. Overweight/obese participants also had greater mean glucose AUC [M(±SD) = 2105.5(±144.9) vs. 1895.7(±189.7), t(13) =-2.4, p=0.038]. Differences in mean MAGE and mean CONGA were not statistically significant

Conclusions

Despite the small sample size, we were able to detect differences in blood glucose variability by weight status within a free-living environment. These data suggest that healthy overweight/obese youth may have glucose variability patterns that put them at risk for the development of chronic disease as adolescents. Further research into the use of CGM to observe blood glucose response to energy balance behavioral interventions is warranted.