The Latest Research on Child Nutrition

The Latest Research on Child Nutrition

Little kid girl eating milk snack at the kitchen table.
By Catherine Cioffi, RD, Contributing Blogger

With the kids all back in school, there is no better time than now to make sure we are fueling their little bodies the right way. Here is the latest research that further supports the link between good nutrition, physical activity and health, especially among children.

Healthy Fat and Body Composition
According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, children who eat more polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), especially omega-3 fatty acids, tend to have healthier body compositions. PUFAs are a type of unsaturated fat found in certain nuts, seeds, fatty fish (like tuna and salmon). They have been studied extensively in adults, but this study was one of the first to look at children. However, because the findings were observational, further research is needed to determine the mechanism behind this link.

The Benefits of Eating Breakfast
The benefits of breakfast, especially a high-protein breakfast, were recently supported in a study published in the International Journal of Obesity.  The high-protein breakfast featured 35 grams of protein, from a combination of high-quality sources, including milk, eggs, lean meats and Greek yogurt. Overweight teens who started eating the high-protein breakfast experienced reduced feelings of hunger, reduced daily energy intake, and stabilized blood sugar levels, compared to when they previously skipped breakfast. The high-protein breakfast also prevented gains in body fat.

Exercise and Heart Health
Physical activity may have benefits for heart health, especially for obese children and teens. Researchers from Australia, Norway, and the U.K. reviewed all previous studies that examined the impact of exercise training on cardiovascular outcomes. Collectively, they concluded that exercise training can improve heart health. The review is published online in the journal Pediatrics.

Looking for more? These are just a handful of the exciting studies recently published! Stay tuned here for more updates. You can also visit the American Society for Nutrition’s website, which features a research “newsfeed” that highlights news and updates in nutrition and health sciences.

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