Healthy diet set early in life

Promoting a healthy diet from infancy is important to prevent childhood obesity and the onset of chronic disease.

This is the finding from a study published in the latest issue of Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

Led by Rebecca Byrne from QUT, the study described quantity and diversity of food and drinks consumed by children aged 12-16 months. "The toddler years are a critical age in the development of long-term food preferences, but this is also the age that autonomy, independence and food fussiness begins," Ms Byrne said.

"Childhood obesity in Australia has doubled since 1986, with about 21% of children aged 2-3 years now classified as overweight or obese. "Liking a nutrient-dense diet that incorporates all five food groups is important, as evidence suggests that food preferences develop at this early age and persist into adulthood.

"Iron deficiency also remains an issue for toddlers in both developed and developing countries.

"Although most toddlers were consuming a diverse diet, the amount and type of meat or meat alternatives was poor. Almost all children were consuming foods we would consider completely unnecessary at this age, such as sweet biscuits."

Related Stories

ECO: stress in children impacts hormones, diet, adiposity

date May 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—For children, stress is associated with poorer diet, which stimulates adiposity, according to a study presented at the annual European Congress on Obesity, held from May 28 to 31 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Recommended for you

Swiss authorities target 'live cell' injection clinics

date 30 minutes ago

Swiss health regulators announced Thursday they have launched a criminal probe into clinics suspected of giving clients potentially dangerous animal cell injections as part of anti-ageing treatments.

Top European beers to show calorie counts

date 4 hours ago

Beer drinkers in Europe will soon be able to find out the calorie count on their drinks after four of the world's biggest brewers said Thursday that they will list the information.

One in four high school seniors now try water pipes

date 9 hours ago

Despite declines in the number of youths who smoke cigarettes, hookah or water pipe use continues to rise among Canadian youth, a new study from the University of Waterloo reports. Published Monday in Cancer Ca ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.