It’s a choice to choose that unhealthy bag of chips over a basket of fresh fruits and vegetables. But, what decides the preference? According to experts at the University of Cincinnati, a host of factors like parental influence, personal attitudes and relationships come into play while understanding why some children choose high-calorie foods and not the nutritious counterparts.
In the trial, nearly 167 kids studying in elementary schools were surveyed. As per the outcomes, they consumed almost 300 calories on an average from foods like candies and fries. On the other hand, only 45 calories from fruits and vegetables were consumed by them.
“Children may not comprehend long-term benefits or consequences of obesity, such as developing chronic conditions in adulthood, but it’s likely that they would understand immediate benefits of a healthier lifestyle, such as being better able to play team or individual sports,” commented Paul Branscum, assistant professor of health and exercise science at the University of Oklahoma.
One reason the team speculated could be that snacks do not fill the stomach completely making kids want to have more of them. On the flip side, the high fiber content in fruits and vegetables satiate the appetite much early than chips or other such foods.
Children who skip breakfasts could also be more prone to eating snacks in school, the scientists added. The study that was conducted gauged the participants on a number of variables like their general notions on healthy eating, parental control, social attitudes and so on.
Reported in the International Quarterly of Community Health Education, the complete analysis was dedicated towards curbing the incidence of childhood obesity.