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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Trends in Cancer Research

The links between diet and cancer strengthen yearly, but it can be difficult to conceptualize what are hot research subtopics. One method is to compare raw publication counts per year as they are listed in the PubMed database. To do this, I used Google Spreadsheets to query each of the terms in the table below. The terms were adapted from AICR/World Cancer Research Fund’s document “Summary: Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective” (p. 8-9). The resulting counts reflect matches containing the term and “cancer” in titles or abstracts of listings in PubMed.

The cells utilize the same color coding system as AICR/WCRF: the coloring reflects the strongest confidence for an association between the term and a decreased or increased risk for at least one cancer type. Terms with a yellow background were not in the document list and added by me.

Picture 2The spreadsheet auto-updates daily, and values may slightly change if new publications/journals are indexed. Continue reading