Most children wouldn’t say no to a post dinner snack, but whether or not they prefer savory or sweet after a meal may predict their risk of being overweight. A new study suggests children who crave sugary snacks after eating a full meal have a greater chance of putting on too many unhealthy pounds later on down the road.
Fox News reports about the study from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and published in the journal Pediatrics that followed a group of about 200 children ages 21, 27 and 33 months. In the children’s own homes researchers laid out a tray of snacks containing different types of cookies, potato chips and cheese puffs. The toddlers, after finishing their dinners, were allowed to choose whatever they wanted and could snack continuously for ten minutes.
After the ten minutes were up and the snack trays were removed, some of the children made a fuss or threw a temper tantrum. Interestingly, the children who chose sweets for their snack and threw the biggest temper tantrum were at the greatest risk of becoming overweight.
Children at 27 months who consumed the most calories during the snack time and ate the most sugary items were more likely to be heavier at 33 months than the average child of that age. Those who chose mostly salty treats or didn’t fuss when their snack was removed had a lower risk of being overweight later on. The study’s author, Dr. Julie Lumeng, advises that parents of children who adore sweets should be cautious about their consumption. Lumeng says, “This behavior is probably inborn. Our study suggests that those kids who particularly like sweets are at greater risk of weight gain. Depending on the child, some families may need to be more vigilant than others about keeping sweets out of the house and limiting how easily accessible they are.”
What do you think of the study that suggests children who crave sweet snacks rather than salty snacks have a greater chance of becoming overweight?
How do you limit your child’s sweet-tooth snacking between and after meals?