Overweight and obese teenagers: why is adolescence a critical period?
Article first published online: 28 MAR 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Pediatric Obesity © 2012 International Association for the Study of Obesity
Volume 7, Issue 4, pages 261–273, August 2012
How to Cite
Alberga, A. S., Sigal, R. J., Goldfield, G., Prud' homme, D. and Kenny, G. P. (2012), Overweight and obese teenagers: why is adolescence a critical period?. Pediatric Obesity, 7: 261–273. doi: 10.1111/j.2047-6310.2011.00046.x
- Issue published online: 6 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 28 MAR 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 7 NOV 2011
- Manuscript Received: 29 JUL 2011
- physical activity
This paper discusses the critical period of adolescence and its potential role in the development and persistence of obesity. The adolescent years are characteristic of changes in body composition (location and quantity of body fat), physical fitness and decreased insulin sensitivity during puberty. This period of growth and maturation is also marked with behavioural changes in diet, physical activity, sedentary behaviour and psychological health. Physical activity and sport participation decline during adolescence especially in teenage girls, while sedentary behaviour, risk for depression and body esteem issues increase during the teenage years. These physiological and behavioural changes during adolescence warrant the attention of health practitioners to prevent the onset and continuation of obesity throughout the lifespan.