Here's further proof that the idea of a calorie-controlled diet is too simplistic: overweight teenagers consume far fewer calories than their slimmer counterparts.
Obesity is not simply a matter of overweight people eating more, say researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, who made the discovery after studying the diets of 19,125 children aged between one and 17 years. Although very young children seem to be affected by the calories they eat, the reverse is true once they hit their early teens.
The researchers surmise that perhaps these teenagers are doing less exercise because they are already overweight-but this doesn't explain the enormous differences in weight and amounts of food the teenagers consume.
Unfortunately, the researchers didn't explore the type of food the children were eating; had they done so, the mystery may have become clearer.
In short, it's what you eat-not how much-that matters. Fast, processed foods put on the pounds; healthy foods like vegetables, meat and some types of grains don't.