Nov 24 , 2021
Children’s Diets Have Become Even More Unhealthy
With obesity and metabolic conditions on the rise, it is important to look at the conditions that lead to becoming obese and/or becoming at risk for metabolic diseases. One promising place to look is at the standard diet for an American child, because child obesity is also on the rise.
In a cross-sectional study of 33,795 children, conducted by Tufts University, it was found that from 1999 to 2018, the amount of ultra-processed foods (ready-to-eat meals, prepackaged foods, snack foods, deep-fried foods, etc.) has jumped from 61.4 % to 67% and that the amount of unprocessed foods has decreased from 28.8% to 23.5% in the daily energy consumption in children’s diets (Tufts University).
The reason why this study is so significant is because of the large pool of subjects and the long duration which gives us a more precise insight into nutritional trends over time. It is a bit alarming at how much ultra-processed foods have increased and healthy unprocessed foods has decreased in terms of the average child’s daily calorie consumption. This finding aligns with the steady increase in obesity over the years.
However, there is still some good news. The earlier one starts to work on their health journey, the easier it is to reverse the effects of the bad diet and to work towards preventative measures such as decreasing the risk of developing cancer, metabolic diseases, chronic inflammation and pain, and to some extent, mental health struggles. With that said, it’s usually never too late to start and any little efforts towards becoming healthier can make a difference.