Daily energy expenditure, activity patterns, and energy costs of the various activities in French 12-16-y-old adolescents in free living conditions.Eur J Clin Nutr 2002; 56(9):819-29EJ
Changes in lifestyle and increases in sedentary activities during recent decades have been shown to contribute to the prevalence of overweight in adolescents.
To determine the inter-individual variability and the day-to-day variations in daily energy expenditure (DEE) and activity pattern, and the energy costs and EE of the various activities of adolescents in free-living conditions.
Sixty adolescents (four groups of 14-16 boys or girls aged 12-16 y) participated in this cross-sectional study during spring or autumn. Activity patterns and EE were determined during five consecutive days, using both a diary and the heart rate recording method validated by whole-body calorimetry and laboratory tests.
Mean DEE increased significantly with age in boys, but not in girls. However, the physical activity level did not vary significantly with sex and age. Mean DEE was significantly higher in spring than in autumn in the 12.6-y-old subjects. It was also 21% higher during the free days than during the schooldays in the active subjects, but 7% lower in the sedentary subjects. The energy cost of 22 activities was determined. Time and energy devoted to moderate and sport activities exhibited great inter-individual variability. They were lower in girls than in boys and decreased with age. The increase in EE resulting from moderate and sport activities instead of sedentary activities ranged from 0.2 to 2.7 MJ/day over the week.
The great variability in DEE of adolescents resulted mainly from differences in the nature, duration and intensity of physical activities during the free days.