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Gingersnap
03-02-2010, 03:52 PM
Snacks mean U.S. kids moving toward "constant eating"

Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. children eat an average three snacks a day on top of three regular meals, a finding that could explain why the childhood obesity rate has risen to more than 16 percent, researchers said on Tuesday.

Children snack so often that they are "moving toward constant eating," Carmen Piernas and Barry Popkin of the University of North Carolina reported.

More than 27 percent of calories that American kids take in come from snacks, Piernas and Popkin reported in the journal Health Affairs. The researchers defined snacks as food eaten outside regular meals.

The studies will help fuel President Barack Obama's initiative to fight obesity in childhood, something Obama's wife, first lady Michelle Obama, notes could drive up already soaring U.S. healthcare costs.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote a commentary calling for taxes on sugary drinks and junk food, zoning restrictions on fast-food outlets around schools and bans on advertising unhealthy food to children.

"Government at national, state, and local levels, spearheaded by public health agencies, must take action," he wrote.

Piernas and Popkin looked at data on 31,337 children aged 2 to 18 from four different federal surveys on food and eating.

"Childhood snacking trends are moving toward three snacks per day, and more than 27 percent of children's daily calories are coming from snacks. The largest increases have been in salty snacks and candy. Desserts and sweetened beverages remain the major sources of calories from snacks," they wrote.

"Children increased their caloric intake by 113 calories per day from 1977 to 2006," they added.

CONSTANT EATING

"This raises the question of whether the physiological basis for eating is becoming deregulated, as our children are moving toward constant eating."

I believe this. If you are getting all your needed calories from 3 meals a day then no snack is "healthy" if it's eaten every day (or multiple times a day).

I have to shake my head at parents who constantly offer fruit drinks, whole fruit, and whole grain crackers to school age children. Toddlers need to eat more than 3 times a day because their stomachs are still small. School children just want to eat because relieves boredom.

Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6210HC20100302)

Rockntractor
03-02-2010, 03:56 PM
http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv230/upyourstruly/piggyroadSN2410_700x568.jpg

noonwitch
03-02-2010, 04:05 PM
There's some truth in this, but overall, I think so many kids are overweight now because of two things:

1. Video games replacing real activities, like riding bikes and playing baseball.
2. Parents rely on processed food and don't make enough of their kids food from scratch. A home made chocolate chip cookie is usually a more healthy choice than anything Nabisco makes.



There are probably other factors involved like heredity and hormones in the meat that we eat, but those are the two main differences between now and 1975.

Gingersnap
03-02-2010, 04:31 PM
It's more than just video/computer games. The culture of fear makes a lot of parents hesitant to let their kids play unsupervised. How much running around fun would you have had if your Mom was standing 20 feet away every minute? Assuming she'd even agree to go outside for any length of time to begin with.

Kids don't get exercise, that's true, but they also eat too much for their activity level (whatever it is).

lurkalot
03-02-2010, 08:09 PM
A few weeks ago the little bug had a playdate at a friend's house. She reported to me at the end of the day that her friend snacks "all day long" and "not even healthy stuff either mom"...and then the final statement delivered with much astonishment "and her Mom even gets her the snacks and brings them to her!"
Needless to say her little friend is quite rotund. :(

Rockntractor
03-02-2010, 08:37 PM
A few weeks ago the little bug had a playdate at a friend's house. She reported to me at the end of the day that her friend snacks "all day long" and "not even healthy stuff either mom"...and then the final statement delivered with much astonishment "and her Mom even gets her the snacks and brings them to her!"
Needless to say her little friend is quite rotund. :(
I bet her friend is fat too. no need to bring race into this! poli will be mad.:rolleyes:

AmPat
03-02-2010, 09:18 PM
http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv230/upyourstruly/piggyroadSN2410_700x568.jpg

Nice hat Rockn.

Rockntractor
03-02-2010, 09:21 PM
Nice hat Rockn.

The ears come in handy in full sun!:D

AmPat
03-02-2010, 09:23 PM
The ears come in handy in full sun!:D

No need to be ashamed, porkers need luvin too. Now pin them ears back.