Now that the kids are out of school, it is important to pay attention to their dietary habits. Make sure they don't consume too many “fun foods” this summer.
According to the CDC, “Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 7% in 1980 to 20% in 2008. The prevalence of obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5% to 18%.”
According to a new study featured on ScienceDaily.com and focusing on adolescents in Spain, it is not only what they eat, but also how much and how often.
“Certain healthy habits, like eating more than four times a day or not eating too fast, are associated with lower body fat levels independently of exercise habits during free time. "
The study was conducted by the Institute of Food Science and Technology and Nutrition (ICTAN) of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). It was recently published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Obesity is a problem in Spain. “More than 25 % of Spanish teenagers are overweight or obese, and so finding ways to help them stay slim is imperative for their well-being and for the country's health budget,” as reported on Cordis News.
The above mentioned study focused on nearly 2,000 adolescents between the ages of 13-18. Their body fat was measured using skin fold calipers.
Interestingly, the study found that in the case of the male adolescents, those who skipped breakfast showed a larger percentage of body fat.
Researchers also suggested adolescents include calcium in their diet by drinking three or four glasses of milk or eating yogurt. This will also help fulfill their vitamin D and riboflavin needs.
“Five or more portions of fruit and vegetables; two portions of lean protein foods; six to twelve portions of cereal, pasta, rice and potatoes; and eat foods rich in fat and sugar in moderation.”
Here in America, we must make sure we monitor the amount of fats and sugars often associated with much of our convenience-based fast foods. Of course, what your kids drink can also pack on the calories and sugar.