Pediatricians offer first report on organic foods (Update)

October 22, 2012 by Lindsey Tanner

Parents who want to reduce their kids' exposure to pesticides may seek out organic fruits and vegetables, but they aren't necessarily safer or more nutritious than conventional foods, America's leading pediatricians group says in its first advice on organics.

Science hasn't proven that eating pesticide-free food makes people any healthier, the American Academy of Pediatrics said.

"Theoretically there could be negative effects, especially in young children with growing brains," but rigorous scientific evidence is lacking, said Dr. Janet Silverstein, a co-author of the academy's new report and a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

"We just can't say for certain that organics is better without long-term controlled studies," she said.

The report was published online Monday in Pediatrics and echoes a Stanford University study released last month. That research concluded that while eating organic fruits and vegetables can reduce pesticide exposure, the amount measured in conventionally grown produce was within safety limits.

Since organic foods tend to be costlier, a good strategy for penny-pinching parents concerned about pesticides is to buy only organic versions of foods with the most pesticide residue—including apples, peaches, strawberries and celery, Silverstein said.

But the pediatricians group says higher prices on organic foods might lead some parents to buy fewer fruits and vegetables—not a good strategy since both have health benefits including reducing risks for obesity, heart disease and some cancers.

Parents should aim to provide their families a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whether organic or not, along with plenty of whole grains and low-fat or fat-free dairy products, the report says.

Explore further: Study finds little evidence of health benefits from organic foods

More information: Pediatrics:

Journal reference: Pediatrics search and more info website


Related Stories

Study finds little evidence of health benefits from organic foods

September 3, 2012
You're in the supermarket eyeing a basket of sweet, juicy plums. You reach for the conventionally grown stone fruit, then decide to spring the extra $1/pound for its organic cousin. You figure you've just made the healthier ...

Keep food safety in mind this memorial day weekend

May 26, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Picnics, parades and cookouts are as much a part of Memorial Day weekend as tributes to the United States' war veterans.

Eat healthy -- your kids are watching

May 30, 2012
If lower-income mothers want kids with healthy diets, it's best to adopt healthy eating habits themselves and encourage their children to eat good foods rather than use force, rewards or punishments, says a Michigan State ...

Recommended for you

Mediterranean diet is linked to higher muscle mass, bone density after menopause

March 18, 2018
The heart-healthy Mediterranean diet also appears to be good for an older woman's bones and muscles, a new study of postmenopausal women in Brazil finds. The study results will be presented Monday at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine ...

Exposure to low levels of BPA during pregnancy can lead to altered brain development

March 17, 2018
New research in mice provides an explanation for how exposure to the widely used chemical bisphenol A (BPA) during pregnancy, even at levels lower than the regulated "safe" human exposure level, can lead to altered brain ...

Smoking linked with higher risk of type 2 diabetes

March 15, 2018
The prevalence of diabetes has increased almost 10-fold in China since the early 1980s, with one in 10 adults in China now affected by diabetes. Although adiposity is the major modifiable risk factor for diabetes, other research ...

Key drivers of high US healthcare spending identified

March 13, 2018
The major drivers of high healthcare costs in the U.S. appear to be higher prices for nearly everything—from physician and hospital services to diagnostic tests to pharmaceuticals—and administrative complexity.

Pedometer health boost lasts four years

March 13, 2018
Wearing a pedometer to count your daily steps can keep you healthier and more active for as long as four years after using it, a new study shows.

Toilet-to-tap: Gross to think about, but how does it taste?

March 13, 2018
Here's a blind test taste like Pepsi never imagined. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, recently published a study of recycled wastewater that did not focus on its safety-which has long been established-but ...


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.