Large por­tions make fatter kids

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FAMILY TIES -

RE­SEARCH has shown that although over­weight chil­dren con­sume larger meals, they do not eat more fre­quently than chil­dren of a healthy weight.

Although it has been heav­ily de­bated whether ex­tra weight gain is due to eat­ing larger meals and/or eat­ing too of­ten, the sub­ject has so far been largely un­der-re­searched in young chil­dren.

A re­cent study from the UK Diet and Nutri­tion Sur­vey of In­fants and Young Chil­dren looked at the eat­ing habits of 2,564 very young chil­dren aged four to 18 months old – as re­ported by par­ents – to study an as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween meal size and meal fre­quency, and the child’s weight.

The data showed that over­weight chil­dren ate larger meals than the healthy weight chil­dren, con­sum­ing 141 calo­ries ver­sus 130 calo­ries at each meal time.

How­ever, they did not eat more fre­quently than healthy weight chil­dren through­out the course of the day.

The re­searchers also found that for ev­ery ex­tra 24 calo­ries that the chil­dren con­sumed dur­ing each meal there was a 9% in­creased risk of over­weight/ obe­sity.

The over­weight chil­dren also ap­peared to con­sume these ex­tra calo­ries by eat­ing larger por­tions of the same types of foods – 160g ver­sus 146g – as there was no dif­fer­ence in the en­ergy den­sity of the meals (kJ/ gram) con­sumed be­tween over­weight and healthy weight chil­dren.

The re­sults led the au­thors to con­clude that it was eat­ing larger por­tions, rather than eat­ing more fre­quently, which led to an in­creased risk of the chil­dren be­com­ing over­weight early in life. – AFPRe­laxnews

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