Despite improved eating habits, more American children are overweight than ever before.
A team of researchers led by Dr. Theresa A. Nicklas of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, tracked seven groups of 10-year-olds between 1973 and 1994, as a part of the Bogalusa Heart Study in Louisiana.
They found that children in the 1990s were eating more healthy foods such as fruit and chicken, and eating fewer fats, desserts and candy than previous generations.
Caloric intake remained relatively constant over the course of the study, at around 2000 to 2,200 calories per day.
So why are so many more children overweight today than 20 or 30 years ago? Lack of physical activity, researchers speculate, with more time spent in front of the television and less out on the playground.
Source: American Journal of Epidemiology, 2001; 153, 969-977.
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