Childrens Snacking

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Children are eating more unhealthy snacks than ever, which could lead to even greater levels of childhood obesity and contribute to many other health problems. Dr. Edward Hill discusses a study on childrens snacking in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Children snack almost three times a day on candy, chips and other junk food, accounting for more than 27 percent of their daily calories.

University of North Carolina researchers also found that children are drinking more sugar-heavy fruit juices and sweetened sports energy beverages that are also high in calories.

Between 1977 and 2006, snacking added 168 calories per day to participants caloric intake.

Researchers studied surveys that looked at food consumption in more than 31,000 children and youth from 1977 to 2006.

The research found some disturbing eating patterns. In 1977 to 1978, 74 percent of the children said they snacked on foods outside of regular meals. That exploded to 98 percent in 2003 to 2006.

The biggest increase over the three-decade period was in salty snacks, such as crackers and chips.

Parents should try to limit snack time to once per day for children 6 and older and make sure plenty of healthy foods are available, such as apple slices, carrots and other fruits and vegetables.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.