Obesity Prevention Guidelines Not Followed For Many Preschoolers

Only one preschool child out of 400 met obesity prevention 5-2-1-0 guidelines during a single day, according to a Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center study.

The 5-2-1-0 guidelines suggest that every day children eat a minimum of five fruit and vegetable servings, have fewer than two hours screen time, get one hour of physical activity, and drink zero sugar-sweetened beverages.

Our study “suggests there is ample room for improvement in preschool-age children's dietary intake, physical activity, and screen time,” says researcher Amrik Singh Khalsa, M.D., a fellow in the division of general and community pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s.

To obtain accurate information a 24-hour observational assessment of the children’s diet and physical activity was made. Measurements were gathered on dietary intake, body mass index, and screen time while the children were at child care, and at home. Physical activity was measured with devices called accelerometers.

The assessment revealed a quarter of the participants were overweight. Only 17 percent ate at least five fruit and vegetable servings, 50 percent drank sugar-sweetened beverages, and less than one percent engaged in an hour of physical activity. Most of the participants, 81 percent, had fewer than two hours screen time.

“Preschool children who are overweight or obese have a fourfold odds of being overweight or obese as adults,” said Dr. Khalsa. “Preventing obesity is critical to averting obesity-associated diseases, such as metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular abnormalities.”

The 5-2-1-0 guidelines were created by the Maine Youth Overweight Collaborative to prevent childhood obesity, and have received national promotion.

Source: Science Daily
Photo credit: aaron gilson

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