Kids in program ate less junk food, more fruits and vegetables
WEDNESDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- A preschool-based weight control intervention program instilled healthy eating habits in children aged 2 to 5, a new study shows.
The study, by researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, included children from ethnically diverse, low-income families who went to eight subsidized child-care centers in Miami Dade County. The children were assigned to either an intervention or a control group.
Those in the intervention group received a six-month home- and preschool-based obesity prevention program. The preschool part of the program included the following menu modifications and education:
The family part of the program, designed to reinforce what the children learned at day care, included: monthly parent dinners to educate parents about food labels, portion sizes and the food guide pyramid; newsletters that featured topics such as picky eaters, healthy cooking tips, healthy fast food choices, and recipes for healthy snacks; and at-home activities such as sampling different vegetables and various types of lower-fat milks.
When they compared the children in the study group to those in the control group, the researchers concluded that the program is an effective obesity prevention strategy.
"While 68.4 percent of children were at normal weight at the start of the study, this increa
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