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J Hum Nutr Diet. 2002 Dec;15(6):429-38.

The French longitudinal study of growth and nutrition: data in adolescent males and females.

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INSERM U 557, ISTNA-CNAM, Paris, France.



To assess nutritional intake, growth parameters, physical activity and television viewing in French adolescents.


A longitudinal study of dietary intake and anthropometric data recorded in the same children (n = 94) from 10 to 16 years of age is presented here.


Energy intake increased from age 10-16 years in boys, whereas it decreased in girls from the age of 14. Height and weight increased in both males and females over the same period of time. Energy intake was positively associated with age at menarche. Nutritional intake, such as fat and calcium, did not meet recommendations for French adolescents. Height was higher than reference values, but the difference was not significant for girls between 14 and 16 years. Overweight (BMI > 97th percentile of the French reference) was found to be 13-14% between age 10 and 16 years. Time watching TV/computer increased with age from 1.4 to 2.2 h day-1 from 10 to 16 years. Active children had nutritional intake closer to recommendations.


In conclusion, this study shows that during adolescence, some nutritional variations can be explained by normal individual growth processes. Low intake of calcium in girls and sedentary lifestyle are of particular concern.

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