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Lower fat content and exercise for the diet of adolescents
Date:1/8/2014

This news release is available in Spanish.

The prevalence of excess weight and obesity among adolescents and, as a result, the concomitant problems, has increased considerably in recent years. A study by the UPV/EHU has confirmed that, irrespective of the total calories consumed and the physical activity done, an excessive proportion of fat in the diet leads to a greater accumulation of fat in the abdomen. The study has been published in the prestigious journal Clinical Nutrition and is part of the HELENA study funded by the European Commission.

"Until now it was thought that even with an unbalanced diet, you somehow compensated for it if you got plenty of physical exercise. In this study we have shown that this is not the case," explained Idoia Labayen, PhD holder in Biology and Tenured Lecturer in Nutrition and Food Science at the UPV/EHU's Faculty of Pharmacy and lead researcher in the study.

The aim was to study the role played by the lipid component, in other words, dietary fat, in the build-up of abdominal fat, in adolescents. The accumulation of abdominal fat is the most harmful in health terms as it increases the risk of suffering from cardiovascular problems, diabetes mellitus, arterial high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, etc. Yet there were no previous pieces of work examining the role of diet composition in the excess of abdominal fat at such a critical development stage as adolescence.

"Adolescents are a risk group as far as lifestyles are concerned because they are starting to take their own decisions about what they want and do not want to eat, and they are also going through a period in which many of them have stopped doing any sport, etc.," pointed out Labayen.

Fat, a significant factor

To study these aims they worked with a
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Contact: Aitziber Lasa
a.lasa@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert  

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