As we all know, fruits and vegetables
should constitute an essential part of our diet
. They are the best sources of vitamins and minerals
. Their fiber content keeps our digestive system
healthy and protects us from illnesses. Growing children and adolescents should
especially include these foods in their diet. Unfortunately, with the
increasing and easy availability of fast foods
foods, these healthy foods are increasingly being avoided. In addition, the
young population tends to skip meals and rely on snacks for their food intake.
A study published in the Nutrition Journal
evaluated if there is any associated between the
total fruit and vegetable
intake and intake of regular breakfast
consumption in young adolescents of the Tuscan population.
Data was obtained based on questionnaires
administered to 3291students aged 11, 13 and 15 years. These are often the
years when parental influence over the child's dietary habits reduces and the
youngsters tend to make their own choices.
In the study, boys were found to eat less fruit as
well as vegetables as compared to girls, though girls tended to skip breakfast
more common. The irregular healthy eating habits
to increase with age in these youngsters.
The researchers found that irregular breakfast
habits were associated with low fruit and vegetable intake in girls. Snack
consumption between meals was associated with a reduction in fruit intake, but
did not affect the total vegetable intake.
A more generalized conclusion from the results of
the study would be that children with irregular eating habits would probably
end up eating less healthy foods
of fruits and vegetables, and this should be watched out for in order to ensure
that growth is not hampered in any way.
Association between fruits and vegetables intake and frequency of
breakfast and snacks consumption: a cross-sectional study; Giacomo et al;
Nutrition Journal 2013.