Healthy Dietary Habits

 

PROMOTING HEALTHY GROWTH & PREVENTING OBESITY INCHILDREN & ADOLESCENTS

ESTABLISH HEALTHY DAILY DIETARY HABITS FOR HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT

  • Childhood obesity and its consequences are major public health concerns.1,2

    In order to promote healthy growth and tackle the childhood obesity epidemic, it is vital to establish a healthy daily dietary and exercise habit early on, with a diet rich in nutrients and low in unnecessary calories.3Such habits may also help prevent the emergence of other health problems in later life.

HELPING CHILDREN TO DEVELOP HEALTHY DIETARYHABITS WILL PROMOTE THEIR HEALTHY GROWTH

  • A balanced diet, rich in nutrients and low in unnecessary calories, is essential to help children develop and thrive.
  • Many national guidelines recognise dairy products as being essential as part of a balanced diet, and recommend the consumption of 2 to 5 servings daily(e.g. recommended in the guidelines for US, UK, France, Italy, Spain and Belgium).
  • Calcium is one of a number of essential nutrients found in dairy products4 and is necessary for the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth in children and adolescents.
  • High quality protein is also found at elevated levels in dairy products and is also essential for healthy growth and development.5
  • Given the continued prevalence of brecistfeeding throughout the world, the nutrient needs of infants and very young children are generally well provided for.
  • However, as children grow out of breastfeeding and move away from the maternal provision of their dietary needs, the milk or dairy component of their diets may diminish. Despite this, they still require a healthy, balanced diet to provide all essential nutrients without excess calories.

A diet lacking in dairy products can have a negative effect on the growth and development of infants, children and adolescents due to a reduced intake of protein, calcium and vitamins.6

HOW YOGHURT CAN HELP

The Nutrient Rich Foods (NRF) Index, a system of ranking foods according to their nutritional content validated in the USA, places milk and yogurt as the second most nutrient dense group of foods, behind vegetables and fruit.11

Interpretation of the NRF index therefore suggests that dairy products, including yoghurt, provide beneficial nutrients without too many calories, allowing the individual to meet their recommended daily dietary intake of nutrients without exceeding energy allowances.

Moreover, in western countries, dairy products tend to have a low cost/nutrient density ratio making them readily accessible to the general population.12

The benefits of dairy products and yoghurt as part of a healthy, balanced diet in children are numerous and include the following:

  • As dairy products, yoghurts contain numerous micro- and macro-nutrients that are essential for health, e.g. proteins, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamins B2, Bi 2, B5, B9and A. Not only are the concentrations of these nutrients favourable, their bioavailability is also generally good.4
  • Yoghurt contains a high quantity of bio available calcium and phosphorus (per unit of energy compared to the average of other typical foods in an adult diet), which are the main minerals found in bones. Bones contain about 99 % and 80 % of the body’s entire supply of calcium and phosphorus, respectively.13
  • Proteins in dairy products (including yoghurt) contain all9 essential amino acids and are of a higher quality than proteins from plant sources.5

Many parents may not be sufficiently aware that childhood dietary habits are predictive of the size and amount of body fat deposition encountered in adulthood.14’15

Establishing a healthy, balanced dietary habit is essential not only for the optimal development of children, but also in establishing lifelong healthy habits and tackling the widely-reported and worrying obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemic.

A relatively simple way to help children and teenagers avoid unhealthy snacks and/or meals, while helping them to achieve a more balanced daily diet, could be to advise them, or their parents, to substitute less healthy sweets or salty snacks with a pot of yoghurt.

Yoghurt is a tasty, easily available, accessible and portable way to consume nutrient-rich dairy products.

  • Yoghurt is a nutrient-dense, tasty, handy and easily-digested way to help people to reach their recommended daily dairy intake.
  • Substituting yoghurt for less healthy snacks and food is a healthy dietary choice.
  • Give children the healthy daily dairy habit in a way they’ll like it...yoghurt.

STUDIES FROM THE USA7 (FIG. 1A) AND FRANCE8 (FIG. 1B) INDICATE THAT SEVERAL AGE GROUPSWITHIN POPULATIONS (INCLUDING CHILDREN, TEENS AND YOUNG ADULTS) FAIL TO REACH THERECOMMENDED DAILY DIETARY INTAKE OF CALCIUM.

  • It is also appreciated that unbalanced, unhealthy dietary habits9 and more sedentary lifestyles10 are major contributing factors to the current obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemics.

As children and adolescents move away from the daily diet of their early childhood and start eating more heavily-advertised, higher-calorie, less nutrient-dense sugary and salty convenience snacks and foods, they are not only putting their healthy growth and development at risk, but also increasing the risk of establishing an unbalanced and unhealthy dietary habit that may be difficult to change in later life.

PROMOTING HEALTHY GROWTH & PREVENTING OBESITY INCHILDREN & ADOLESCENTS

ESTABLISH HEALTHY DAILY DIETARY HABITSFOR HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT

  • Yoghurt is a nutrient-dense, tasty, handy and easily-digested way to help people to reach their recommended daily dairy intake.
  • Substituting yoghurt for less healthy snacks and food is a healthy dietary choice.
  • Give children the healthy daily dairy habit in a way they’ll like it...yoghurt.

References:

  1. Ebbeling CB et al. Childhood obesity: public-health crisis, common sense cure. Lancet. 2002;360(9331):473-82.
  2. Nadeau KJ et al. Childhood obesity and cardiovascular disease: links and prevention strategies. Nat Rev Cardiol.2011;8(9):513-25.
  3. Pietrobelli A et al. Pediatric obesity: looking into treatment. Nutrients. 2009;1(2):197-209.
  4. Gaucheron F. Milk and dairy products: a unique micronutrient combination. J Am Coil Nutr. 201l:30(5 Suppl 1):400S-9S.
  5. Bos C et al. Nutritional and physiological criteria in the assessment of milk protein quality for humans. J Am CoIl Nutr.2000;19(2 Suppl):191S-205S.
  6. Heyman MB. Lactose intolerance in infants, children and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2006;118(3):1279-86.
  7. Miller GD et al. The importance of meeting calcium needs with foods. J Am CoIl Nutr. 2001;20(2 Suppl):168S-185S.
  8. Etude nationale nutrition santé(ENNS).2006. Available at: http://opac.invs.sante.fr/doc_num.php?explnumjd=3481.Accessed May 2012.
  9. Yach D et al. Epidemiologic and economic consequences of the global epidemics of obesity and diabetes.Nat Med. 2006;12(1):62-6.
  10. Hu FB. Sedentary lifestyle and risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Lipids. 2003;38(2):103-8.
  11. Drewnowski A. Concept of a nutritious food: toward a nutrient density score. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;82(4):721-32.
  12. Drewnowski A. The contribution of milk and milk products to micronutrient density and affordability of the U.S diet. J Am Coll Nutr. 2011;30(5 Suppl 1 ):422S-8S.
  13. Heaney RP. Calcium, dairy products and osteoporosis. J Am Coil Nutr. 2000;19(2 Suppl):83S-99S.
  14. Knittle JL et al. The growth of adipose tissue in children and adolescents. Cross-sectional and longstudies of adipose cell number and size.J Clin Invest. 1979;63(2):239-46.
  15. Spalding K et al. Dynamics of fat cell turnover in humans. Nature. 2008;L153(71 96):783-7.