Cookies or chips? Your child’s choices may anticipate weight gain, study reveals

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If your little ones crave more for sweets rather than salty snacks, then they are at a greater risk for gaining excess weight, a new study reveals.

The research published in the Pediatrics Journal indicates that people who are more inclined towards sweet products put themselves at an increased risk of obesity.

For the research, scientists from the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital asked more than 200 low-income mothers to have their children fast for an hour before providing them with a substantial lunch.

The children were then offered a tray of snacks containing both sweet treats such as chocolate chip cookies and salty ones such as potato chips and were told that they could eat without any restrains.

Later, it was discovered that those who consumed more and showed the desire to eat sweet over salty snacks were at a greater risk for developing increased body fat by the time they were about 3 years old.

The leading author of the study, Dr. Julie C. Lumeng, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician from the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, said that the findings suggest some people could be genetically predisposed to have a sweet tooth, making them more susceptible to obesity, which is unhealthy.

She also said that the findings suggest the craving for sweet taste is perhaps biologically-linked and some babies are just born having more liking for desserts than others.

Lumeng said, for these children, parents should devote extra attention about what they eat and what they don’t eat. However, she also adds by saying that the liking for sweet foods is perhaps not something that can be completely overcome.

If you observe in your children, when they are one or two years old that they show greater liking for sweet foods, then it may be a sign that they were just born that way and you may need to strictly monitor the variety of food you keep in your home, maybe a closer watch than with another child or sibling.

One of the clinical dietitians at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, Lauren Graf, advice parents to develop healthier ways to satiate their child’s sweet tooth. Habituating children to healthy foods, such as vegetables and fruits, is extremely vital in developing their tastes. The foundation of the healthy diet is laid down in early childhood days.