Teens Eating Healthier; May Bode Well for Future Cancer Risk

American teens are eating slightly more fruits and vegetables and fewer sweets, while upping their activity, according to a new study that offers a glimmer of positive findings for improvements among adolescent’s health.canstockphoto14620946

The study, published in Pediatrics, focused on adolescent’s eating and other lifestyle habits. Like adults, there are numerous health reasons for teens to eat well and exercise. What is less well known is the growing body of research suggesting that diet, activity and weight as teenagers – when the body is developing – may play a role in cancer risk decades later.

In this study, researchers asked three different groups of 6th through 10th graders about their eating and exercise habits over eight years. The first group — about 15,000 students – answered the survey questions during the 2001-2002 school year. Four years later a second group of students answered the same questions; and four years later the third group. All the groups were representative of US adolescents nationwide.

Throughout the study period, all the teens were getting less than the recommended 60 minutes of activity fewer than five days a week. But the latest group of teens came slightly closer to getting the recommended amount of activity closer to five days a week compared to the students eight years earlier. Continue reading


Report: Kids Eating Fewer Calories, Still Work to Do

With approximately one-third of US kids overweight or obese, a new government report finding that children of most ages are eating even slightly fewer calories overall is positive news, even if the dip is relatively slight.Boy drinking

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) report found that overall caloric intake for most girls and boys ages 2 through 19 decreased over the 12-year period between two national health surveys. One survey was conducted over 1999–2000 then it was given again in 2009–2010.

Girls overall ate approximately 75 fewer calories; boys ate 150 fewer.

The report highlights the importance of healthy eating habits for kids. Obese children are more likely to become obese adults. And excess body fat increases the risk of seven types of cancers, including post-menopausal breast, colorectal, and pancreatic.

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