Diets cause of childhood obesity not sedentary lifestyle, study.

Variation in consumption of market-acquired foods outside of the traditional diet — but not in total calories burned daily — is reliably related to indigenous Amazonian children’s body fat, according to a Baylor University study that offers insight into the global obesity epidemic.

“The importance of a poor diet versus low energy expenditure on the development of childhood obesity remains unclear,” said Samuel Urlacher, Ph.D., assistant professor of anthropology at Baylor University, CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar and lead author of the study. “Using gold-standard measures of energy expenditure, we show that relatively lean, rural forager-horticulturalist children in the Amazon spend approximately the same total number of calories each day as their much fatter peri-urban counterparts and, notably, even the same number of calories each day as children living in the industrialized United States.

“Variation in things like habitual physical activity and immune activity have no detectable impact on children’s daily energy expenditure in our sample,” he said.


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Variation in consumption of market-acquired foods outside of the traditional diet — but not in total calories burned daily — is reliably related to indigenous Amazonian children’s body fat, according to a Baylor University study that offers insight into the global obesity epidemic.

“The importance of a poor diet versus low energy expenditure on the development of childhood obesity remains unclear,” said Samuel Urlacher, Ph.D., assistant professor of anthropology at Baylor University, CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar and lead author of the study. “Using gold-standard measures of energy expenditure, we show that relatively lean, rural forager-horticulturalist children in the Amazon spend approximately the same total number of calories each day as their much fatter peri-urban counterparts and, notably, even the same number of calories each day as children living in the industrialized United States.

“Variation in things like habitual physical activity and immune activity have no detectable impact on children’s daily energy expenditure in our sample,” he said.


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