Health Update

Longitudinal Study Follows Preschoolers’ Eating Habits

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Preschoolers are eating more grains, fruits, and vegetables, but youngsters are still consuming too much sugar and juice, according to a recently released study covering the years 1977 to 1998.

The study, which surveyed 5,437 children ages 2 to 5, found that, on average, 2- and 3-year-olds had healthier diets than 4- and 5-year-olds.

The average total number of calories from fat and saturated fat for preschoolers has decreased over the past two decades, but calories from sugars in candy, fruit drinks, sodas, and cookies have increased.

"Our study shows that preschoolers’ diets are moving in the right direction," Sibylle Kranz, the study’s lead author, said in a statement. "But [diets] can still be improved."

An article about the study will appear in the September issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Vol. 24, Issue 02, Page 18

Published in Print: September 8, 2004, as Longitudinal Study Follows Preschoolers’ Eating Habits

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