New York: Teenagers who have snacks throughout the day are less likely to be overweight or obese than their peers who limit themselves to larger meals, a new study suggests. The study, of 5,800 U.S. teenagers included in a government health survey, found that rates of obesity, and abdominal obesity specifically, declined with the number of snacks kids had each day.
To help confirm a connection between snacking and lower weight, Keast said that studies should follow kids over time -- seeing whether those who report frequent snacks are less likely to become overweight in the future. For now, the bottom line for parents is to encourage their kids to have healthy snacks, according to Keast. That means foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, whole grains and low-fat dairy -- the types of foods, Keast said, "that we know kids are not getting enough of." Cutting out sugary beverages is another wise move. Keast noted that she and her colleagues did not consider sugar-sweetened drinks to be "snacks" in this study; other studies have, however, and that may be one reason her team`s findings differ from those of some past research. The current study was partially funded by Frito-Lay Inc. Bureau Report
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