Early life diet plays a large role in prevention of overweight and obesity in childhood, as well as healthy eating preferences later in life. A new report was released this month on guidelines for promoting healthy eating in infants and toddlers; it is an excellent resource for parents!
Feeding Guidelines for Infants and Young Toddlers: A Responsive Parenting Approach
This study, from UConn professor emerita Jane Goldman, finds that while healthy foods are depicted in most children’s books, unhealthy foods are more likely to be depicted in a positive way, as a treat, or used to make someone feel better – does that send the wrong message to children?
Read about children’s books images of food.
A study completed by researchers at Arizona State University tracked students over more than a decade to analyze how bullying impacted academic achievement and school engagement. They found that students who were chronically bullied were more likely to suffer academically, highlighting the need for more anti-bullying school programs, as well as parental awareness of bullying.
“Children who suffered chronic levels of bullying during their school years (24 percent of sample) had lower academic achievement, a greater dislike of school and less confidence in their academic abilities. Children who had experienced moderate bullying that increased later in their school years (18 percent) had findings similar to kids who were chronically bullied. However, children who suffered decreasing bullying (26 percent) showed fewer academic effects that were similar to youngsters who had experienced little or no bullying (32 percent), which revealed that some children could recover from bullying if it decreased. Boys were significantly more likely to suffer chronic or increasing bullying than girls.” (American Psychological Association)
Find more information about the study via CNN and the American Psychological Association.
The UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity released a study on December 16, 2016 that analyzed the patterns of youth TV viewership and food advertising to preschoolers, children, and adolescents. Despite no difference in youth’s time spent viewing TV between 2008 and 2012, there was a marked increase in the number of food and beverage advertisements youth were exposed to. Another key finding: Black youth were exposed to more junk food ads than white youth.
The study was published in Pediatric Obesity. You can read about the study in UConn Today.
The UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity explains the powerful effects of food advertising on Preschoolers, as outlined in a new study.
“If the ads were for healthy foods, that would be an asset to parents, but when the ads are for unhealthy foods, they make parents’ job harder,” a representative from Rudd said.
Read more here about a study that illustrates the effect of advertising on children’s food choices.
As part of research done by UConn’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, studies showed that just 4 of 80 baby and toddler snack foods, (such as cookies, cereal bars, puffs, and fruit snacks), qualified as nutritious choices for young children.
And, 50% of baby snacks and 83% of toddler snacks contained added sugars.
Want to learn more about their research? Click here.
UConn KIDS researcher Marie Coppola investigates how deficits in language early in life may impact other abilities downstream. Her work is featured in UConn magazine. Review it here.
UConn researchers explore Dad’s importance in being involved in mealtime decisions. Read the entire article here.
While advocates work hard to remove unhealthy food choices from schools (where children might spend their lunch money in unhealthy ways) food advertisers repackage “smart snack” foods in a way that mirrors their unhealthy line of products as well.
Read more findings from The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.