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Children need more fat than adults

As compared to adults, children burn relatively more body fat and therefore, also need it in a little extra amount.

Children need more fat than adults

As compared to adults, children burn relatively more body fat and therefore, also need it in a little extra amount. With the rise in number of cases in childhood obesity, it's very important that children and teenagers eat well-balanced diets and get regular exercise. While adults are advised to get anywhere from 20 to 35 percent of their daily calories from fat, the recommendation for teenagers and children older than three is 25 to 35 percent. Babies and toddlers need even more fat - 30 to 40 percent of daily calories. The reason for the extra fat allowance is that fast-growing bodies need adequate calories and nutrients of all kinds for proper development. It is also said that prepubescent children may use up more fat than adults do by virtue of normal growth processes, like bone development and the relatively higher rate of protein synthesis seen in children. To assess the need for dietary fat in children, researchers at the University of Delaware studied 10 adults and 10 children who were fed weight maintenance diet for three days to maintain body weight and to establish a consistent background for metabolic rate measurements (all foods provided). Metabolic rate was measured on three separate occasions before and immediately after breakfast and for 9 hrs using a hood system (twice) or a room calorimeter where continuous metabolic measurements were taken. The results indicated that for every calorie expended, the children, who were 8 years old on average, burned more body fat than adults did. During all three sessions whole body fat oxidation was higher in children than adults. Thus, one must include sufficient fat in the diet for children to support normal growth and development. But, this shouldn't be mistaken for overindulgence in fatty and sugary junk foods.
Nutrition,
August 2007
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