Posts Tagged “childhood obesity”

Food Rules May Lead Toddlers to Healthy Eating Habits

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DSCN4085When parents place restrictions on what kids can eat and train them to control their impulses, children have healthier diets,  a new study suggests.

The University at Buffalo researchers analyzed data from almost 9,000 American children whose self-regulation was assessed at age 2. The children’s diets and parental food rules were then checked at age 4.

“Parents can make a difference here by training young children to self-regulate, and also by setting food rules in the home,” study senior author Xiaozhong Wen, an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, said in a university news release.

“We found that the combination of parental rules and young children’s ability to self-regulate their behaviors works best in teaching young children to eat healthy,” Wen said.

The study was presented in Boston recently at Obesity Week, the annual meeting of weight-loss surgeons and other obesity specialists.

“In adults and adolescents, self-regulation, emotional eating and obesity have been well-studied, but there is very little information about the role that self-regulation plays in young childhood obesity,” Wen said.

“We found that children who were able to self-regulate at 2 years old had healthy eating habits by the time they were 4 years old, so long as their parents also set rules about the right types of foods to eat. We found that self-regulation by itself, without parental food rules, made little difference in children’s later eating habits,” Wen concluded.

Study co-author Neha Sharma, a recent graduate from the university’s department of psychology, added, “It is amazing to see that a parental rule about which types of food a child can and cannot eat could have such a great impact on child eating habits.”

Sharma suggested in the news release that “without these boundaries set by caregivers, the benefits of high self-regulation on weight gain and childhood obesity could be diminished. This illustrates just how important parental involvement is in influencing child eating habits.”

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Parents Overwhelmingly Support Fruits & Vegetables In School Meals

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DSCN3877+1by United Fresh Produce Association

WASHINGTON, DC – United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel issued this statement in response to a national poll of parents’ opinions of school lunch standards released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the American Heart Association.

Parents nationwide want their children to have healthier meals and snacks at school, according to the poll. An overwhelming 91 percent of parents support requiring schools to include a serving of fruits and vegetables with every meal and more than 72 percent of parents support national nutrition standards for school meals and snacks sold in schools.

This new national poll underscores the strong support by parents for the new healthier school meal standards that require more fresh fruits and vegetables. Their voice joins public health authorities, the National PTA, teachers and others in their steadfast support for healthier school foods.

The childhood obesity crisis is real – with early onset of diabetes and the enormous burden of healthcare costs on society. Moms and dads know the challenge of helping our kids’ make healthier choices – but we don’t opt out of trying. We put our kids’ health first and Congress must continue to do the same.  There can be no going back to water down the modest requirement that children take at least one-half cup of fruit or vegetable at breakfast and lunch.  Instead, we should be looking for ways to reach our public health goal of half the plate being fruits and vegetables, not just half a cup.

The national poll was commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the American Heart Association and was conducted by Hart Research Associates and Ferguson Research between June 19 and 28, 2014 among registered voters who are parents of public school children.

Founded in 1904, the United Fresh Produce Association brings together companies across every segment of the fresh produce supply chain, including growers, shippers, fresh-cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations. We empower industry leaders to shape sound government policy. We deliver the resources and expertise companies need to succeed in managing complex business and technical issues. We provide the training and development individuals need to advance their careers in produce. And, through these endeavors, we unite our industry with a common purpose – to build long-term value for our members and grow produce consumption. For more information, visit or call 202-303-3400.

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