More physically active and leaner adolescents have higher energy intake

Magdalena Cuenca-García, Francisco B. Ortega, Jonatan R. Ruiz, Idoia Labayen, Luis A. Moreno, Emma Patterson, Germán Vicente-Rodríguez, Marcela González-Gross, Ascensión Marcos, Angela Polito, Yannis Manios, Laurent Beghin, Inge Huybrechts, Acki Wästlund, Anita Hurtig-Wennlöf, Maria Hagströmer, Dénes Molnár, Kurt Widhalm, Anthony Kafatos, Stefaan De HenauwManuel J. Castillo, Bernard Gutin, Michael Sjöström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To test whether youths who engage in vigorous physical activity are more likely to have lean bodies while ingesting relatively large amounts of energy. For this purpose, we studied the associations of both physical activity and adiposity with energy intake in adolescents. Study design The study subjects were adolescents who participated in 1 of 2 cross-sectional studies, the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence (HELENA) study (n = 1450; mean age, 14.6 years) or the European Youth Heart Study (EYHS; n = 321; mean age, 15.6 years). Physical activity was measured by accelerometry, and energy intake was measured by 24-hour recall. In the HELENA study, body composition was assessed by 2 or more of the following methods: skinfold thickness, bioelectrical impedance analysis, plus dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry or air-displacement plethysmography in a subsample. In the EYHS, body composition was assessed by skinfold thickness. Results Fat mass was inversely associated with energy intake in both studies and using 4 different measurement methods (P ≤.006). Overall, fat-free mass was positively associated with energy intake in both studies, yet the results were not consistent across measurement methods in the HELENA study. Vigorous physical activity in the HELENA study (P <.05) and moderate physical activity in the EYHS (P <.01) were positively associated with energy intake. Overall, results remained unchanged after adjustment for potential confounding factors, after mutual adjustment among the main exposures (physical activity and fat mass), and after the elimination of obese subjects, who might tend to underreport energy intake, from the analyses. Conclusion Our data are consistent with the hypothesis that more physically active and leaner adolescents have higher energy intake than less active adolescents with larger amounts of fat mass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-166.e2
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'More physically active and leaner adolescents have higher energy intake'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Cuenca-García, M., Ortega, F. B., Ruiz, J. R., Labayen, I., Moreno, L. A., Patterson, E., Vicente-Rodríguez, G., González-Gross, M., Marcos, A., Polito, A., Manios, Y., Beghin, L., Huybrechts, I., Wästlund, A., Hurtig-Wennlöf, A., Hagströmer, M., Molnár, D., Widhalm, K., Kafatos, A., ... Sjöström, M. (2014). More physically active and leaner adolescents have higher energy intake. Journal of Pediatrics, 164(1), 159-166.e2.