Healthy Weight Loss a Low Priority for Teen Boys
Overweight boys are just as likely as their female peers to try to shed weight at age 11, but seem to stop trying as they get older, Scottish researchers report.
By age 15, only 16% of overweight boys are trying to lose weight, compared with nearly 50% of girls with excess pounds. At age 11, 30% of both boys and girls who are overweight are trying to shed pounds.
Overall, teenage girls were more likely to diet and be concerned about their weight than their male peers, regardless of age and whether the girls were actually overweight.
Over time, the gap between the sexes only widens, Dr. Helen Sweeting of the University of Glasgow in Scotland and her colleague found. Their study, which ended when the teens turned 15, found that, at that age, overweight girls are three times as likely as their overweight male peers to be on a diet, while girls considered to have low weights for their heights were a full 16 times as likely as slim boys to be dieting.
Of equal concern, noted Sweeting, was the finding that around one out of six students included in the surveys was classified as overweight.