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Teenage girls getting even fatter: Now a staggering 60% are OBESE, according to waistline measure
A staggering 60 per cent of teenage girls are obese by the time they reach 16, according to research that measures wa istlines rath er than BMI. The waist of the average year-old girl has expanded nearly 13cm 5in in the past two decades, according to a study which finds that many children are even fatter than previously thought. Recent statistics which judge obesity by BMI seem to have indicated there has been a levelling off in child obesity.
1. Introduction: Adolescence, a Critical Period to Modify Obesity Risk
The adolescent period is associated with changes in eating and activity behaviors in girls. Less reliance on parental provision and choice of food, coupled with a decrease in participation in physical activity and sport, can create an energy imbalance, predisposing to weight gain. Physiological alterations to body composition, reduction in insulin sensitivity, and psychological adjustments may further amplify the risk of becoming overweight and maintaining an unhealthy level of body fat into childbearing years. During pregnancy excess body fat is a risk factor for poor pregnancy outcomes and may predispose an infant to a lifelong heightened risk of being overweight and developing chronic disease. Interventions aimed at preventing the accumulation of body fat in adolescent girls and young women may have far reaching impact and be critically important in reducing intergenerational weight gain. Lifestyle interventions in adolescence have the potential to modify adult obesity risk by switching at-risk individuals from a high to lower obesity risk trajectory. This paper discusses multiple approaches to assist at-risk individuals reduce obesity risk. A key focus is placed on engagement in food preparation and choice, and opportunities for physical activity and sport. Support, education, and opportunity at home and at school, are often associated with the success of lifestyle interventions, and may enable adolescents to make positive choices, and engage in health promoting behaviors during adolescence and childbearing years.
When it comes to moving around and burning calories, there's a marked drop off when puberty hits - and that could be causing problems. Scientists believe the reason why teens put on 'puppy fat' is because they are burning off dramatically fewer calories than in their younger years. Research has revealed that teenagers burn up to fewer calories a day during puberty than younger children - and it's hoped the findings could help explain why obesity is increasing. When children reach puberty, according to the study which spanned 12 years, girls and boys experience a rapid drop in the number of calories they burn, at a time when the number would be expected to rise with the growth spurt. The research by Professor Terry Wilkin, of the University of Exeter, found that at 15, teens use to fewer calories while at rest per day than when they were 10 - a fall of around a quarter. For comparison, a McDonald's Big Mac burger contains calories and it would take an hour of Zumba to burn calories through exercise. The study also found that teenagers exercise less during puberty , adding to the calorie excess that underlies obesity. This drop is particularly stark in girls, whose activity level drops by around a third between the ages of seven and