Washington: How kids eat their food may turn out to be just as important as what they eat, according to a new study.
The study, led by Dr. Nav Persaud, a family physician, found a significant association between poor eating habits in kids ages three to five and their levels of non-HDL - or "bad" - cholesterol, putting them at risk for cardiovascular disease later in life.
The study looked at data from more than 1,000 preschoolers, who were recruited through TARGet Kids!, a collaboration between children`s doctors and researchers from St. Michael`s Hospital, the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto.
Parents filled out questionnaires assessing their child`s eating behaviours, and researchers looked at the child`s height, weight and fat profile in their blood.
They assigned risk based on ethnicity of the parents, as some groups are more prone to heart disease than others.
Dr. Persaud said if a child is watching TV while eating, they are less likely to notice natural cues telling them when they are full, and are more likely to eat an unbalanced meal.
The paper appeared online in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.