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The number of calories children burn when resting falls sharply during puberty and this could be the cause of teenage obesity according to a new study published in the International Journal of Diabetes.

Most of the energy people burn is just to keep their bodies ticking over – using the brain, heart, liver and kidneys – rather than through physical activity, which falls sharply during puberty according to researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School.

The study found energy used at rest was 25% lower in 15-year-olds compared with when they were 10 – a fall of 500 calories a day – the equivalent to cutting out an hour’s strenuous exercise every day.

But let’s get real for a minute… can this seriously be down to puberty or is it the modern teenage lifestyle?

If puberty was the cause of teenage obesity then we would see it throughout history, with teenagers since the dawn of time gaining weight and developing related diseases, such as diabetes, but this is NOT the case.

Also, let us not forget…

1 in 3 school children aged 10-11 in England are already overweight or obese!

“Child obesity and associated diabetes are both among the greatest health challenges of our time,” says Prof Terry Wilkin, from the University of Exeter Medical School.

I completely agree.

As parents it is our responsibility to teach our children about real food, the importance of movement and how to manage their thoughts and feelings.

I believe that only when we address Attitude, Intake and Movement can we truly be healthy.

We need to shift our think from an outdated view that weight management is about the balance of calories in versus calories out and recognise that not all calories are created equally.

100 calories of donut does NOT have the same impact on your body as 100 calories of broccoli.

Obesity is a symptom of dis-ease in the body. Our focus should not only be on weight loss (or the prevention of obesity) but also on promoting a state of true wellness and vibrancy.

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