Encouraging healthy diet among toddlers can help curb childhood obesity

London: A new study has revealed that promoting healthy eating habits from infancy can help prevent childhood obesity and the onset of chronic disease.

Rebecca Byrne from QUT, said that the toddler years are a critical age in the development of long-term food preferences, but this was also the age that autonomy, independence and food fussiness begins and childhood obesity in Australia has doubled since 1986, with about 21percent of children aged 2-3 years now classified as overweight or obese.

She further added that liking a nutrient-dense diet that incorporates all five food groups was important, as evidence suggested that food preferences develop at this early age and persist into adulthood and iron deficiency also remained an issue for toddlers in both developed and developing countries.

It was also revealed that most toddlers were consuming a diverse diet, the amount and type of meat or meat alternatives was poor. Almost all children were consuming foods we would consider completely unnecessary at this age, such as sweet biscuits.

The study is published in the issue of Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 

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