Washington: Obese kids who are older actually consume fewer calories per day than their healthy peers, while younger overweight children consume more calories than their healthy peers.
These findings are the outcome of a new study by University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine paediatrics researchers, who compared the eating habits of overweight children aged between nine and 17 years compared to those younger than nine years.
"Children who are overweight tend to remain overweight," said Asheley Cockrell Skinner, assistant professor of paediatrics at UNC, who led the study the journal Paediatrics reports.
"So, for many children, obesity may begin by eating more in early childhood. Then as they get older, they continue to be obese without eating any more than their healthy weight peers," Skinner said, according to an UNC statement.
"One reason this makes sense is because we know overweight children are less active than healthy weight kids. Additionally, this is in line with other research that obesity is not a simple matter of overweight people eating more - the body is complex in how it reacts to amount of food eaten and amount of activity," added Skinner.
Skinner and co-authors Eliana Perrin and Michael Steiner from the UNC, examined dietary reports from 19,125 children aged aged one to 17 years old that were collected from 2001 to 2008 as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).