Families With Preschoolers Buying Fewer High Calorie Foods

family grocery shopping

A new study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine reports that families with young children are buying fewer high calorie processed foods and drinks, which may be a factor in declining childhood obesity rates.

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“Somewhere between 2003 and 2010, the upward trend in childhood obesity started to stall, leveling off around 2007,” said lead study author Christopher Ford, M.P.H. of the department of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Using data from between 2000 and 2011, researchers studied the food and beverage purchases from nearly 43,000 U.S. homes having a preschool-age child.


The study found a significant decline in total calories from food and drink purchases, especially in juice drinks, soft drinks and milks, which all have added sugars and higher calorie solid fats.

Although discussions on childhood obesity tend to focus on the negative impacts of fast food, as noted by Meghan Slining, Ph.D., assistant professor of health services at Furman University, 70 to 80 percent of a preschoolers diets comes from stores and what they have at home.

“…foods and beverages purchased from supermarkets and grocery stores represent a much greater share of young children’s diets. This report suggests important improvements over the past decade in the food shopping behaviors of American families with young children,” says Slining.

For more on this study, click here.

Source: Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health

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