US Kids Taking 40% of Calories from Solid Fats and Sugars

The findings of a new study have revealed that kids in the US are depending on less nutritious foods like cold drinks and pizzas for nearly half of their daily calorie intake.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association and was carried out by Jill Reedy, PhD, MPH, RD, and Susan M. Krebs-Smith, PhD, MPH, RD, of the National Cancer Institute.

The researchers found out that of the average required 2,200 daily calories, about 800 of them are contributed by fatty products and sugars. They suggested adding nutritious food in the diet of children than the unhealthy things.

"When you look at the finding that 40% of total calories consumed by kids were in the form of empty calories, that's a cause for great concern", said Mary Story, PhD, RD, of the University of Minnesota.

The findings of the study are based on the data gathered from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the calculation of solid fats and added sugars was made by employing the USDA MyPyramid Equivalents Database.

It was discovered that for 2 to 18-year-olds, the major sources of calories were desserts, pizza and soda. Around 10% of the total calorific value was contributed by sodas or fruit drinks. For 50% of the kids, the energy sources include soda, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, grain desserts, pizza and whole milk. But, the energy source varied with age and ethnicity.

As per Dr. Rae-Ellen W. Kavey, a pediatric cardiologist, high consumption of solid fats and sugars gives way to cardiovascular risk, which could be dampened by taking healthy diet.