Obesity is never good news. Now, a new study has found that childhood obesity is also associated with an increased risk of four of the five newly proposed subtypes of adult-onset diabetes.

The study, published in the journal Diabetologia, puts the spotlight on the long-lasting effects of obesity in children.

“Childhood obesity appears to be a risk factor for essentially all types of diabetes in adults, except for mild age-related diabetes. This stresses the importance of preventing obesity in children," the authors said.

First, one should be familiar with the new five subtypes. In a 2018 study, scientists identified the subtypes of adult-onset diabetes: severe autoimmune diabetes (SAID, including type 1 diabetes and latent autoimmune diabetes in adults [LADA]) and four subtypes of type 2 diabetes (severe insulin-deficient diabetes [SIDD], severe insulin-resistant diabetes [SIRD], mild obesity-related diabetes [MOD] and mild age-related diabetes [MARD]).

Currently, SIDD, SIRD, MOD, and MARD subtypes are classified as type 2 diabetes. There is a difference in the clinical characteristics, complications, and genetic backgrounds of these subtypes.

It is not surprising that childhood obesity is on the rise worldwide.

Previously, childhood adiposity has been linked to type 1 and type 2 diabetes. However, the relationship between childhood obesity to the recently proposed subtypes of adult-onset diabetes had not been researched till now, according to MedicalXpress.

In this study, the authors compared childhood body size and the risk of different subtypes in adults.

Data from the U.K. Biobank was used for the study. Here, data on childhood body size from a genome-wide association study of more than 450,000 European participants at the age of 10 years were analyzed.

Higher levels of childhood adiposity were linked to a 62% increased risk of LADA, double the risk of SIDD, almost triple the risk of SIRD, and a seven-fold increased risk of MOD, the study found. MARD was the only diabetes subtype, which showed no connection in the study.

"Our analyses indicate that childhood obesity is a risk factor for four of the five proposed novel subtypes of adult-onset diabetes, regardless of whether they are classified as being primarily characterized by autoimmunity, insulin deficiency, insulin resistance, or obesity," the authors noted.

There is medical literature that points to an association between childhood body size and a doubling of the risk of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. "We extend these findings by demonstrating that childhood adiposity is a risk factor for four out of the five recently proposed diabetes subtypes," the authors said.

Another recent study has found vitamin D supplements can help pre-diabetic people in preventing their condition from progressing to type 2 diabetes. "It’s pretty clear vitamin D has a moderate effect on reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, if you’re at high risk," lead researcher Dr. Anastassios Pittas, of Tufts Medical Center in Boston, said.