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Question Video: Determining the Impact of Low Growth Hormone in Children Science

Obesity can greatly reduce the release of growth hormones by the pituitary gland. If this happens, what could be a consequence of obesity on children’s growth?

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Video Transcript

Obesity can greatly reduce the release of growth hormones by the pituitary gland. If this happens, what could be a consequence of obesity on children’s growth? (A) Obese children could grow more. (B) Obese children could grow less. (C) Obese children would grow normally.

Before we try to answer this question, let’s review the function of one of the most important glands in the human body, the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is a small structure located at the base of the brain. It is considered the master gland because it secretes many different hormones or chemical messengers, many of which regulate other glands and tissues in the body.

For example, the pituitary gland releases hormones that influence the sex organs to produce estrogen and testosterone. It can also influence the kidneys, skin, adrenal glands, and the thyroid. Because these hormones are transported around the body via the blood, their intended target tissues can be far from the original gland that secreted them.

One example of a hormone released by the pituitary gland is growth hormone. Growth hormone acts on many parts of the body. It’s involved in the control of growth and metabolism. Malfunctions in the pituitary gland can cause several different problems, including growth hormone deficiency when an insufficient amount of growth hormone is secreted. This can ultimately result in poor growth in children.

Now we have reviewed the importance of growth hormone, let’s take another look at our question. We are told that obesity can reduce the release of growth hormones by the pituitary gland. We have just learned that this can cause growth hormone deficiency and lead to poor growth in children. So the best answer to the question “What could be a consequence of obesity on children’s growth?” is answer choice (B). Obese children could grow less.

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