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Understanding discussions 1

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Here are the first three paragraphs from the discussion section of the article from Obesity (2006: 14, 5, 855−862) entitled: Energy Intake, Diet Composition, Energy Expenditure, and Body Fatness of Adolescents in Northern Greece by M. Hassapidou, E. Fotiadou, E. Maglara, and S. Papadopoulou.

 Click on the elements in the left hand column to see an example of each element or group of elements.

Discussion element     Example
Paragraph 1
Relate to aim / purpose

Height, weight, BMI, and percentage body fat based on skinfold thickness were measured in this study in two groups of adolescents, overweight and non-overweight, of both sexes. BMI and percentage body fat are good indices for assessing obesity.

Paragraph 2
Explain results

Of the total sample, 31% of boys and 21% of girls had BMI corresponding to ≥25 kg/m2 at 18 years.

Refer other research

The rate of overweight in adolescents found in this study is lower than the one found among younger children in an earlier study in Greece (7).

Explain results

This may be because of the difference of the age of the participants, the difference in time period, or differences in the standards and criteria used to assess overweight.

Explain results

Furthermore, the prevalence of overweight in this study was found to be higher for boys than for girls. A possible explanation for this could be that girls of this age seem to be more interested in their weight and figure (26).

Paragraph 3
Explain results

Overweight adolescents in this study, both boys and girls, reported a lower energy intake using a 3-day weighed dietary diary compared with the non-overweight groups. This can be shown by the percentage difference between reported energy intake and calculated energy expenditure.

Refer other research

These results correspond well with those of other studies showing that overweight persons report a lower energy intake than their lean counterparts (13).

Explain results

A possible explanation for this may be under-reporting.

Refer to other research

Dietary under-reporting has been shown to be particularly prevalent in obese subjects (27−29). Ortega et al. (29) reported 9.1% of underreporting for overweight adolescents, whereas Bandini et al. (30) found under−reporting of 30% in overweight adolescents.


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