If you’re the parent of an infant or toddler, you’ve probably given a lot of thought to how you can raise a non-picky eater who enjoys a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and doesn’t overdo it on junk food. Diets rich in colorful fruits and vegetables and low in sugary and energy-dense foods and drinks can help kids (and parents) maintain a healthy weight, prevent cancer as adults and reduce their risk of other chronic diseases.
Raising kids that prefer healthy foods isn’t easy, but a new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests strategies that parents can try with their young children that may affect what foods kids enjoy and eat more of as they get older. It joins a growing body of research pointing to the importance of introducing a wide variety of vegetables to children under the age of 2. It also provide new evidence that parents should avoid introducing foods low in nutrients, but high in saturated fat, added sugars, or salt to young children who haven’t yet tasted them.
This study used data from the NOURISH trial, a randomized control trial that began in Australia in 2008. The original study looked at whether providing new mothers with guidance on feeding and parenting practices affected outcomes as children got older. In this new study, researchers analyzed data from 340 mother-child pairs to see whether the amount of fruits, vegetables, and noncore (low-nutrient) foods tried by 14-month olds affected their preference for and intake of these foods, food fussiness, and weight about two and half years later. Continue reading
If you need another reason to grab an apple today, a new study may get you inspired. The study suggests that eating just a few fruits and vegetables a day reduces the risk of dying from cancer and an earlier death. And the more produce people ate, the lower their risk of dying during the course of the study.
The study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.
From AICR’s report along with other research, there is already an established link between consuming high amounts of fruits and vegetables are reduced risk of certain cancers. This study both strengthens and adds to the research by focusing on mortality, from cancer, along with heart disease and any cause.
The study included approximately 65,000 participants, ages 35 or older, who represent the population of England. They had answered questions annually about how many and what types of fruit and vegetables they had eaten, as well as other health habits.
After an average of 8 years, the people who were eating seven or more fruits and vegetables each day had a 33 percent reduced risk of dying from any cause compared to their non-produce eating counterparts. Even consuming one to three fruits and vegetables a day reduced risk of death by about 10 percent, compared to those who ate none. The link was even stronger when excluding those who died during the first year of the study, which may have been due to illness. Continue reading
The research is pretty clear that staying a healthy weight lowers postmenopausal women’s risk of breast cancer. Now a new study suggests that regularly eating a diet high in the foods that help you stay at that healthy weight – fruits, vegetables and other plant foods – may by itself lower risk of breast cancer.
The link to lower risk was most pronounced for tumors that are not fueled by hormones. These breast cancers are less common, but more challenging to treat.
The study was published yesterday in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Going into the study, researchers looked to get away from individual foods and nutrients and focus on dietary pattern, which looks at the overall types of foods we regularly eat. Almost 100,000 women answered questionnaires about what they ate, along with genetic and other risk factors. Five dietary patterns emerged:
1) plant based: lots of fruits and vegetables
2) high-protein, high-fat: lots of meat, eggs, butter and fried foods
3) high carbohydrate: lots of pasta, bread and convenience foods
4) ethnic: lots of legumes, soy-based foods, rice and dark green leafy vegetables
5) salad and wine: high in lettuce with low-fat dressing, fish, wine, coffee and tea Continue reading