Relative fat oxidation is higher in children than adults

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Deborah Bagshaw (Creator)
James P. DeLany (Creator)
Peter A. Farrell (Creator)
John C. Kostyak (Creator)
Penny Kris-Etherton (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: Background: Prepubescent children may oxidize fatty acids more readily than adults. Therefore dietary fat needs would be higher for children compared with adults. The dietary fat recommendations are higher for children 4 to 18 yrs (i.e. 25 to 35% of energy) compared with adults (i.e. 20 to 35% of energy). Despite this many parents and children restrict dietary fat for health reasons. Methods: This study assessed whether rates of fat oxidation are similar between prepubescent children and adults. Ten children (8.7 ± 1.4 yr 33 ± 13 kg mean ± SD) in Tanner stage 1 and 10 adults (41.6 ± 8 yr 74 ± 13 kg) were fed a 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 (once) where continuous metabolic measurements were taken. Results: During all three sessions whole body fat oxidation was higher in children (lower RQ) compared to adults (mean RQ= 0.84 ± .016 for children and 0.87 ± .02 for adults p < 0.02). Although total grams of fat oxidized was similar in children (62.7 ± 20 g/24 hrs) compared to adults (51.4 ± 19 g/24 hrs) the grams of fat oxidized relative to calorie expenditure was higher in children (0.047 ± .01 g/kcal compared to adults (0.032 ± .01 p < 0.02). Females oxidized more fat relative to calorie expenditure than males of a similar age. A two way ANOVA showed no interaction between gender and age in terms of fax oxidation. Conclusion: These data suggest that fat oxidation relative to total calorie expenditure is higher in prepubescent children than in adults. Consistent with current dietary guidelines a moderate fat diet is appropriate for children within the context of a diet that meets their energy and nutrient needs. Originally published Nutrition Journal Vol. 6 No. 19 Aug 2007

Additional Information

Nutrition Journal. 6:19(August 2007) p. 1-7.
Language: English
Date: 2011
fat oxidation, childhood diet, Weight maintenance

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