Kids' eating habits highlight need for healthier lunchboxes
New research from the University of Adelaide in Australia shows children are receiving almost half of their daily energy requirements from "discretionary" or junk foods.
The study evaluated the core food intake of more than 430 South Australian children. The results -- published recently in theJournal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics-- show that 45% of the children's daily energy intake was sourced from discretionary foods high in fat, salt and sugar.
“Unhealthy diet is a key contributor to obesity and also paves the way for other health problems in later life, such as poor cardiovascular health. The establishment and maintenance of healthy eating habits during the transition from childhood to adolescence is also very important."
The study revealed a number of issues, such as:
Boys and girls consumed an average of 156 grams and 161 grams of total sugar per day respectively;
91% of children had few servings of vegetables;
83% of boys and 78% of girls consumed more intake of salt;
Fiber intake was inadequate in 41% of boys and 24% of girls.