Does your teen boy seem like a bottomless pit where food is  concerned? It's not your imagination, according to a recent study.

Eat your heart out. Teenage boys routinely pack in 2,000 calories at lunch when given the chance, without any fat-producing effects, according to a study.

Given the chance, 14- to 17-year old guys eat more than girls their age and turn those calories into height and muscle mass.

Researchers from the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development studied 204 kids between the ages of 8 and 17, according to Reuters. The kids were told to eat as much as they would normally. The typical noontime pig-out for the boys weighed in at close to 2,000 calories in late puberty - a fact that won’t surprise parents of boys who routinely eat them out of house and home.

The eating pattern makes perfect sense since boys have a later growth spurt than girls, according to researcher Dr. Jack A. Yanovski.

“There’s a lot of folk wisdom that says boys can eat prodigious amounts, but we haven’t had much data,” he told Reuters. Yanovski’s study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

In the study, girls didn’t prove to be quite as ravenous. They demonstrated the largest appetites between the ages of 10 and 13, averaging nearly 1,300 calories at lunch. The figure increased just slightly among older teenage girls, which was consistent with their development.

Unlike guys, girls have their biggest growth spurt in early to mid-puberty. After that, as women know all to well, 2,000-calorie feasts no longer morph into height or muscle mass.


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