Increased consumption leads to increase in body mass index of 9 to 14 year olds; puts children at risk for chronic disease later in life
New research shows that adolescents who eat large amounts of fried food away from home are heavier and more likely to have a poor-quality diet. Among 14,355 children surveyed over three years, researchers from the Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention (at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care) found that 9 to 14 year olds who increased their consumption of fried food away from home over the course of a year gained weight above the normal rate. This research was conducted at the DACP Center for Child Health Care Studies and is reported in this months Pediatrics journal.
"Doctors should encourage teens to limit their intake of food prepared away from home and to eat family dinners together, the benefits of which appear to include improved diet quality," said lead author Elsie Taveras, instructor in ambulatory care and prevention at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC). She added that home dinners have been found to reduce high-risk adolescent behaviors such as tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use. Taveras is also director of the One Step Ahead program at Childrens Hospital Boston, which teaches families how to make healthy food choices.
Leah Gourley | EurekAlert!
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