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It's Not Just How Many Calories Children Eat, It's Also What They Eat

Overweight Children
Posted at 8:45 PM, Dec 17, 2012

(AP)-- With childhood obesity becoming a greater problem, a new study finds that weight control is more than just a matter of counting calories.

ABC’s Senior Medical Contributor, Doctor Timothy Johnson says, about thirty-two percent of US children are overweight or obese. Experts say junk food is partly to blame for their growing waistlines.

Kids today eat nearly three snacks a day, compared to just one for children thirty years ago. For a study published in the journal “Pediatrics,” researchers looked at the effects of snacks on 201 children in grades three through six. Some were given high nutrient snacks of cheese and vegetables while others got low nutrient snacks of potato chips.

The kids were allowed to eat as much as they wanted. The children who ate the cheese-and-vegetable combination consumed seventy-two percent fewer calories than the potato chip group.

 In other words, they needed far fewer calories to feel full.

 The authors conclude that a high-nutrient combination snack of cheese and vegetable can be effective in reducing kids calorie consumption during snacking.