Background: Findings concerning nitric oxide (NO) in children and adolescents with obesity are scant. Objective: This study examined the links of NO with obesity and psychological traits (ie, self-concept, anxiety, depression, anger and disruptive behaviour) in children and adolescents in Taiwan. Methods: A total of 564 first, fourth and seventh graders (314 children with overweight/obesity and 250 children with normal weight) completed an in-hospital health examination in 2010. All students received a physical examination, underwent blood sample collection and completed a questionnaire. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed for analyses. Results: Among the fourth and seventh graders (P=.003 and.001, respectively), the students with overweight/obesity displayed significantly higher levels of NO than those with normal weight; however, no difference was observed in males and females. In multiple linear regression models, a high level of anxiety was independently associated with low NO levels (β=−1.33, 95% confidence interval −2.24 to −0.41) in first graders who with overweight/obesity. No association between NO levels and psychological traits was evident among students with normal weight. Conclusions: Our results enrich the limited data and suggest that NO may be associated with obesity and psychopathology and should be a concern in the pathophysiology of childhood mental health and obesity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric obesity
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2020


  • anxiety
  • children
  • nitric oxide (NO)
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Health Policy
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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