Importance of Childhood Food Choices

A new study from the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Behavioral Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center analyzed food preference data collected from girls, starting at age nine, over a 10-year period to see if there was any relationship between early dietary choices and the development of eating disorder symptoms in adolescent years.

The researchers compared the girls’ percentage of carbohydrate, fat and protein consumption when they were young to the occurrence of eating disorder symptoms; dissatisfaction with body image, erratic eating habits and preoccupation with thinness.  They suggested that physicians may be able to predict which girls are at risk based on the food choices they make when they are younger.

What they found is that the percentage of carbohydrate and fat consumption by girls around the age of 11 seemed to predict increases in body dissatisfaction by the age of 14. Those who consumed a low amount of fat and a high percentage of carbohydrates were more likely to demonstrate erratic eating habits by age 19.

This is something that needs further consideration.  The commonly recommended and followed low-fat diet which is high in carbohydrates, particularly processed varieties, along with low or poor protein choices is a problem for everyone, not just girls.  Modern food products and diet advice are a recipe for disaster when it comes to your health.

It seems everyone who consumes an unnatural diet and accumulates excess body fat will resort to erratic eating habits.  It comes as no surprise that young women who are attempting to emulate extremely thin models (who also tend to eat erratically) will resort to drastic measures, particularly if they are listening to typical diet and weight-loss advice.

“Eating disorders are notoriously difficult to treat, so prevention is critical,” said Laurie Dunham, registered dietician at Cincinnati Children’s.  “By assessing protein and fat consumption as early as age 9, we can detect which girls may go on to develop eating disorders and step in to help before things get out of control.”

It’s not about carbohydrates, protein and fat.  A diet based around modern processed foods is not healthy for anyone.

In TurboCharged, we explain the problem in simple terms and offer a very simple solution.  Parents generally have no clue when it comes to guiding their children or themselves in following a healthy diet and lifestyle but it is extremely important that they become proactive.  Learning and teaching children about healthy food and lifestyle choices is the way to insure ideal health and body composition later in life.  It’s never too late to start.

Your thoughts and comments are always welcome.



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