Why Boys Get Fat Differently Than Girls

It's a fact. Yes, boys gain differently than girls.

According to medlineplus.com, being on a sports team helps school-aged jboys not to gain weight, but it doesn't help girls. 

But girls who drank milk stayed thinner than boys who did.  Some things hurt both.

"Eating school lunch regularly increased the risk of obesity by 29 percent for boys and 27 percent for girls. Watching two or more hours of television a day boosted the odds of obesity by 19 percent for both genders," reports healthday.com, which posted the story.

You'd think eating lunch would be a good thing, but sadly, judging by my son's middle school cafeteria, the foods served there are high-fat, high-sugar and high-salt.

The good news?  Childhood obesity rates have dropped a little in the last year.  Experts put it down to breast-feeding, more nutritious meals for low-income children, and Michelle Obama's encouragement to move more.

Why do girls have more padding than boys? Some say we evolved that way to support pregnancy when food was hard to find.  But we all know the real answer.  Yes, some of it is hormones, but many of us just like to eat, and don't move enough. 

The Oregon Dairy Council (biased? who knows?) says that "During the adolescent spurt, males gain more subcutaneous (under the skin) fat on the trunk, while fat on the extremities decreases. In contrast, girls gain proportionally equal amounts of subcutaneous fat on both trunk and extremities during adolescence."

Boys do gain more weight in puberty, the dairy council goes on, but it's from the growth of bone tissue and skeletal muscle.  Girls, on the other hand, experience "a continuous increase in fat mass," the dairy council quotes Robert M. Malina, Ph.D., who serves as editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Human Biology. 

Lucky us!

 It's simple.  Calories in.  Exercise out. 

Simple, yet, but not easy!


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