Get ’em Started Young!

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Teenagers who eat healthy diets are least prone to weight gain later in life, according to a study from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Dietary intakes and body weights were monitored for ten years in 2,656 teenagers with an average age at the start of the study of 15-years-old. Results showed that healthy eaters were not necessarily leaner at the start, but they gained less weight during the next five to 10 years compared to those teens eating typical American foods high in sugar, red meat, and processed foods. The healthy eaters ate more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. “The choices adolescents make during [younger years]establishes a lifetime diet pattern, which could influence weight gain over time,” state the researchers.

Hu T, Jacobs D, Larson N, et al: Higher diet quality in adolescence and dietary improvements are related to less weight gain during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Journal of Pediatrics 2016;178:188-193.

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