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Global Commentary
Monday, 20 September 2004
Eating habits and age
Topic: Health
A study by nutritionists at the University of Newcastle has found that adults eat twice as much fruits and vegetables as they did when they were children and take in less fat and sugar.

The study, which is published in the academic journal Appetite, looked at the eating habits of 200 children aged 11 and 12 and then revisited the same people in their early 30s.

The finding should not come as too much of a surprise. For one thing, adults are more aware of the health consequences of a poor diet. And the fact that the consequences are more imminent for them should provide them with greater motivation to improve their eating habits.

Of course, knowing that adults eat more fruits and vegetables and less fat and sugar than children is one thing. The other question is whether they should actually start younger.

Animal studies have shown that extremely low-calorie diets produce considerably extended life spans. Significantly greater life-span extensions are achieved when the low-calorie diets are started young than when started in adulthood.

It is likely that a similar difference should apply to the high fruit/vegetable and low fat/sugar diet.

However, animal studies also show that undernutrition in young animals also cause stunted growth. That is obviously not ideal for our children.

It is not necessarily true that what is healthy for adults is also healthy for children.

Posted by lim_cs at 9:59 PM JST | post your comment (0) | link to this post

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