Adolescent obesity linked to calorie-burn drop

social-media-teensA drop in energy used among adolescents – even while resting – could be contributing to the rise in obesity, a recent study in the International Journal of Diabetes has found. The UK-based study found that 15-year-olds used 25% less energy at rest than they did five years ago.

This is a fall of 500 calories a day or equivalent to cutting out an hour’s strenuous exercise every day.

In a decade-long study following 279 children, researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School were surprised to find the number of calories the children burned at rest fell sharply during puberty, the BBC reported.

The study said the findings were unexpected but could help explain why a lot of teenagers put on excess weight.

This is a period of rapid growth, which usually uses up lots of calories, but it was only around the age of 16 that the number of calories burned at rest started to rise again.

During puberty there was also a noticeable drop in the amount of exercise, particularly among girls, which could add to weight gain, the researchers said.

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.

Professor Terry Wilkin, from the University of Exeter Medical School, said: “Child obesity and associated diabetes are both among the greatest health challenges of our time. Our findings can explain why teenagers gain excess weight in puberty, and it could help target strategies accordingly.”

And Prof Simon Capewell, vice-president of the Faculty of Public Health, told the BBC the findings showed there was an even greater need to improve children’s diets and protect them from the heavy marketing of junk food and sugary drinks.

“Adolescents sitting around using their smartphones and iPads are being bombarded with junk food marketing – while using even fewer calories than we previously thought,” he said. “We need much tougher regulation around the marketing of junk food to children, particularly on TV and online.”

The problems here seem to be lack of exercise, junk food and ‘addiction’ to social media – all problems which can be resolved through session with a qualified clinical hypnotherapist.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) is the UK’s largest professional association in this field with more then 1,800 qualified therapists across the country on its register.

“Managing weight loss is one of the most effective results of hypnotherapy,” says the NCH, adding that as well as stopping compulsive eating of junk foods, for instance, hypnosis can increase the motivation to exercise.

Turning to unwanted behaviours, hypnotherapy can help here too and the good news is that even though the behaviour might feel as if it is controlling what we do, it is not.

“You are in control,” says the NCH, “you can change how you react to certain situations and you can protect yourself in ways that are healthy and which allow you succeed and grow stronger in body and mind. You just need to know how to change it, and to believe you can.”

To avoid the risk of becoming obese and unhealthy, why not contact an NCH hypnotherapist near you by using the directory. You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.