A recent look into the eating habits of U.S. children found that most are skipping their daily servings of fruit and vegetables.
The Centers for Disease Control released the results of a 2021 survey on February 17 that investigated the eating habits of children across the country.
Researchers asked the parents of 18,386 children ages one to five years to report how often their children consumed fruit, vegetables, and sugary drinks.
The survey results revealed that, in a given week, about 32% of the children failed to eat one piece of fruit each day, and about 49% missed at least one daily serving of vegetables.
However, in that same week, around 57% had consumed at least one sugar-packed drink.
This survey also broke down the results by individual states.
CDC researchers surveyed the parents of 315 children in the state of Texas.
They found that nearly 30% of those Texas children did not eat a daily piece of fruit, and about 47% did not eat a daily vegetable in the studied week. About 69% consumed at least one sugary beverage.
Scientists recognized some limitations in the recent CDC survey.
First, they said that it focused on the frequency of consumption instead of quantity. Next, they sometimes questioned parents who may not have known everything their child consumed.
There were also some restrictions in terms of those surveyed, as information was only collected amongst English and Spanish-speaking people. Finally, the data did not take into account that the allotted week taken into consideration may not have represented usual consumption patterns.
The survey results are nonetheless worrisome in that proper nutrition has been recognized as a viable method to curb the ongoing obesity epidemic. On the other hand, unhealthy food items such as sugar-sweetened drinks have been associated with exacerbating the issue.
Eating habits are also learned young and stick with people throughout their lives, as various studies have shown.
The CDC’s survey results point to the prevalence of sugary beverages young children consume. Consuming drinks sweetened with corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, and others is associated with multiple afflictions. According to the CDC, these include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, tooth decay, and obesity.
Childhood obesity is a growing issue in the U.S., with Texas ranking eighth among other states for the highest number of registered cases, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
Rates of childhood obesity across the U.S. have grown to the point that some medical providers have recommended extreme measures such as weight loss medication and bariatric surgery for children, according to the latest guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The findings of the 2021 CDC survey have prompted researchers to suggest more support for federal and state-level initiatives to help build awareness and improve the quality of food given to young children.
For instance, the Texas Department of Agriculture has instituted Farm Fresh Fridays. This initiative aims to connect schools with Texas agriculture, helping “young Texans develop strong and sustainable connections to local food, farmers and ranchers,” according to its website.
Is this something new? They spent money on a survey and the analysis to figure this out? Think of the money saved if the government went by the constitution.
The answer to fat and lazy is diet and exercise, not pills and a knife.