Last year, we published a paper in Diabetes Care on metabolically healthy obesity (MHO) in children. This paper has an interesting backstory, both before and after its publication. Historically, most research investigating the cardiometabolic health of children with obesity has examined the presence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. Our approach was part of a trend to characterize and better understand the flipside – why do some individuals with obesity possess none of the traditional risk factors (e.g., insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and dyslipidemia) that usually accompany a high level of body fat?
Before we published our paper in Diabetes Care, which is a pretty high-impact journal, we submitted it to five (!!!) other journals. While a couple rejected it outright, others sent it out for peer-review, which allowed us to make improvements over time given the feedback from reviewers was mostly useful and constructive. Since publication, it’s already been cited 15 times by other researchers; over time, it’ll probably be one of the more popular papers produced by our group. It’s also led to follow-up research into MHO, which is being led by one of my graduate students (Samah Damanhoury).
This week, we learned that our paper was chosen as ‘Paper of the Year’ by the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta. It’s always nice to have your work recognized by your peers, but it’s especially satisfying in this instance since we experienced a few ups and downs over the years with this paper.