Infants eat fries and drink soft drinks

October 29, 2003 in Nutrition Topics in the News

Infants eat fries and drink soft drinks

U.S. infants are eating fattening foods, such as French fries, and drinking soft drinks instead of milk, which may help explain the country's growing obesity problem, researchers said at the Annual Conference of the American Dietetic Association in San Antonio, Texas.

A survey of the eating habits of 3,000 youngsters aged four to 24 months found their diets were surprisingly similar to that of older children--heavy on soft drinks, sweet candy, and other junk foods, and light on vegetables and fruits. Twenty to 25 percent of these kids did not eat a single healthy vegetable on the day of the survey, and 25 to 30 percent did not eat a single fruit.

The research showed soft drinks were being placed into the bottles of infants as young as seven months old, and most toddlers between 19 and 24 months old consumed sweets at least once a day. 10 to 15 percent of preschoolers between the ages of two and five are considered overweight.

The findings demonstrate the need for parents to be more aware of the types of foods their children are eating. "Parents are eating on the run, they're pressed for time and looking for convenience," the researchers said. "Everyone's just too busy and has just too much to do, so they're feeding their young children the same things they're eating."

"The best thing they can do is change their own diets," to be healthy role models for their children.

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