VITORIA, SpainRegardless of the amount of calories adolescents consume and the physical activity done, an excessive proportion of fat in the diet leads to a greater accumulation of fat in the abdomen, according to a new study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition.
UPV/EHU researchers studied the role of dietary fat in the build-up of abdominal fat in 224 HELENA study adolescent participants. Researchers measured abdominal fat; dietary habits and physical activity were also measured. The goal was to determine whether diets with a high fat content could increase the risk of obesity even without increasing the total calorie intake.
Results concluded that the percentage of dietary fat is linked to an increase in abdominal fat, and is also independent of the levels of physical exercise adolescents do.
Despite the fact that physical activity is usually a prevention factor, in this particular case it is not able to counteract it," said lead researcher Idoia Labayen, Ph.D. These results point to dietary fat content as a key risk factor in abdominal adiposity in adolescents, no matter how much physical exercise they do."
The accumulation of abdominal fat is the most harmful to health as it increases the risk of cardiovascular problems, diabetes mellitus, arterial high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.
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.," Labayen said.