A study from the Nutrition Journal demonstrated how irregular breakfast and snacks could affect the total intake of fruits and vegetables in youngsters.
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 and junk 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.
AdvertisementA study published in the Nutrition Journal evaluated if there is any associated between the total fruit and vegetable intake and intake of regular breakfast or snack 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 appeared 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 in terms 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.