Fruits and vegetables are essential for the promotion of health and the prevention of chronic disease. Higher intake of fruits and vegetables has been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and ischemic strokes —the three leading causes of death in the United States.
An increasing proportion of U.S. children aged 2-5 are overweight. Many children in this age group are in licensed child care during all or part of each week. Early intervention among preschoolers at risk for poor nutrition and obesity, prior to the onset and consolidation of unhealthy eating habits and sedentary patterns, is critical to obesity prevention.
Dairy foods are important in a healthy diet—as long as they are lower-fat dairy. Whole-fat dairy products are high in saturated fats, which have been shown to raise blood cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease. Whole-fat milk and cheese are among the leading sources of saturated fat in American diets.
When grains are processed or refined, most of the bran and some of the germ are removed, eliminating most of the beneficial parts of the grain. Whole grains, and foods made from them, include the entire germ seed, usually called the kernel, which consists of the bran, the germ, and the endosperm.
Scientific evidence continues to mount supporting the importance of breastfeeding for infants and their mothers. Breastfeeding significantly reduces children’s risk for acute infections and chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and obesity. Breastfeeding also reduces the mother’s risk for type 2 diabetes and breast and ovarian cancers.
Poor nutrition and physical inactivity have been clearly implicated in the epidemic of obesity that has spread among both children and adults. For adults, the worksite is a logical focus for programs to improve health habits in ways that encourage healthy weight.
Obesity: Dietary and Developmental Influences, available through CRC Press, book provides researchers, health practitioners and policy makers alike with the latest evidence about this modern-day epidemic. Included in the book are:
- A synopsis of the diet most likely to protect against the development of obesity
- The roles of growth and developmental periods in obesity development
Data were collected in eight focus group sessions using a semistructured questionnaire to assess Latina mothers' health beliefs and attitudes regarding early childhood weight issues and to use the information to update current nutrition education methods.
The Center, with the California Elected Women's Association for Education and Research (CEWAER), produced a concise review of the importance of healthy eating and physical activity for California children's academic performance, physical health and social well-being.
Copyright UC Regents. Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight & Health; University of California, Berkeley