Kids Are Eating Fewer Calories

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A new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that kids in the U.S. are eating fewer calories. And while the study shows that kids ate less in 2010 than a decade earlier, it may not signal a reversal in obesity rates.

“A harbinger of change is a good phrase,” R. Bethene Ervin, a researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and one of the authors of the report, told The New York Times. “But to see if it’s really a real trend we would obviously need more years of data.”

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Part of the hopefulness stems from where the reduction came from. A decline in carbohydrates — possibly from foods with added sugar — was responsible for the decrease in total calories. Protein intake increased, while calories from fat remained the same.

Calorie intake dropped by about 7 percent for boys and 4 percent for girls. The carbohydrate decrease was seen in both white and African-American boys, and white girls; it didn’t drop among Hispanics or black girls.

“To reverse the current prevalence of obesity, these numbers have to be a lot bigger,” Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, told the Times. “But they are trending in the right direction, and that’s good news.”

While childhood obesity rates climbed in that 10-year period, they remained the same between 2007–2008 and 2009–2010.

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And it’s not the only news researchers are smiling about: another CDC analysis shows that adults are getting fewer calories from fast food, shifting from 12.8 percent in 2006 to 11.3 in 2010.

 

Photo: Sally Anscombe/Getty Images