Excessive weight gain during childhood is associated with
adult onset diabetes, adolescent and adult high blood pressure,
and adult cardiovascular disease. Inadequate consumption of
especially fruits and vegetables, can also contribute to vitamin
and mineral deficiencies and increase the risk for numerous
disorders, including several forms of cancer.
Too many children aren't getting enough fruits and vegetables
in their daily diet, but they are eating plenty of chips,
fries, candy, soft drinks and other non-nutritive, high-calorie
snack foods. A recent study analyzed data from four U.S. Department
of Agriculture national surveys (12,498 teenagers) and noted
several disturbing trends in eating habits:
- A higher percentage of energy from fat than present dietary
- increased consumption of higher-fat potato dishes and
mixed dishes (pizza, macaroni and cheese, etc.);
- inadequate fiber, raw fruit and vegetable (non-potato)
- decreased milk consumption (low-fat replaced by high-fat);
- a substantial increase in consumption of soft drinks
and non-citrus juices/drinks.
If you're a parent, teach your children the essentials of
proper nutrition and the negative impact poor diet can have
on their future health and wellness.
Cavadini C, Siega-Riz AM, Popkin BM. U.S. adolescent food
intake trends from 1965 to 1996. Archives of Disease in
Childhood 2000: Vol. 83, pp18-24.