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Int J Obes (Lond). 2007 Apr;31(4):622-9.

General and visceral adiposity in black and white adolescents and their relation with reported physical activity and diet.

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Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Prevention Institute, Augusta, GA 30912, USA.



Excess body fat accumulation may begin in youth and is linked with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Examination of physical activity (PA) and diet behaviours predictive of adiposity may help target efforts to reduce chronic disease risk.


We hypothesized that energy intake (EI) from fat, vigorous PA (VPA), and their interaction would predict body fat percentage (%BF) and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) in youth and that sedentary behaviours and intake of dairy, fruit, vegetable and whole grain foods would be related to adiposity.


A cross-sectional, observational study of reported PA and diet behaviours and objective adiposity measures.


Six-hundred sixty-one healthy black and white adolescents aged 14-18 years.


Diet by 24-h recalls using Nutrition Data Systems for Research (Minneapolis, MN, USA), VPA by previous day physical activity recalls (PAR), and %BF with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. VAT by magnetic resonance imaging for 434 subjects.


Reported EI and VPA were positively correlated with each other and were negative predictors of %BF. Time spent watching television or movies and %EI from protein were positive predictors of %BF. Adjusted for EI, none of the independent variables predictive of %BF retained their significance. %BF and VAT were highly correlated (r=0.73, P<0.0001). EI was the sole and negative predictor of VAT.


Higher energy 'throughput', not energy restriction, characterize leaner youths. Youths should be advised to engage in VPA so that they can eat sufficient calories to obtain the nutrients required for optimal health while remaining lean.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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