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HHS HealthBeat (April 17, 2014)

Kids eating like grown-ups

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Little tummies don’t need adult-sized meals, but a look at what parents serve preschoolers indicates that’s often the amount parents put on kids’ plates. The researchers observed everyday meals at the homes of 145 parents and preschoolers in a Houston-area Head Start program.  They say calories varied widely, but often were on the adult level.

At the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Susan Johnson:

“Irrespective of the day, the amount children were offered was very correlated to how much the parents served themselves.”

Johnson says the calories a child should get should depend generally on how hungry – and how physically active – the child is.

The study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: April 17, 2014