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A study of 8 European countries shows that children consuming a Mediterranean diet are 15% less likely to be overweight or obese than those children who do not.
The adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet was assessed by a score calculating by giving one point for high intakes of each food group which was considered typical of the Mediterranean diet (vegetables, fruit and nuts, fish and cereal grains), as well as one point for low intakes of foods untypical of the Mediterranean diet (such as dairy and meat products).
Interestingly, the prevalence of high adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet was found to be independent of the geographical distribution, with the Swedish children scoring the highest (followed by the Italians) and the children from Cyprus scoring the lowest.
The team found that children with a high adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet were 15% less likely to be overweight or obese than low-adherent children.
Australian children are being bombarded with unprecedented levels of fast food and sugary drink advertising via companies sponsoring community sports clubs new research has found.
Children are being exposed to unhealthy messages for up to four hours per week during community sport, a rate researchers have described as exceedingly large.
The research comes as an international report last week revealed Australia's adult obesity level is growing at one of the fastest rates in the world, while about one in four children are either overweight or obese.
The study, published by Sports Medicine Australia (SMA) in the upcoming edition of The Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, combined information about children's participation in community sport with data on known patterns of food and drink sponsorship of NSW sports clubs, to estimate population rates of children's exposure to sponsorship messages during sporting activities.
Lead author Dr Bridget Kelly, School of Health and Society, University of Wollongong, said her research team was staggered by the sheer magnitude of children's cumulative exposure to these unhealthy messages.
"With nearly two-thirds of all children participating in organised sport regularly, it is deeply concerning to see such a high frequency of fast food and sugary drink sponsorship at local sports clubs undermining the great health benefits of kids sport," Dr Kelly said.
"Earlier research has already established that kids have high recall and awareness of the sponsors of their own clubs - particularly those featuring sports stars - associating them with positive brand attributes.
"Our study shows that fast food and sugary drink sponsorship of children's sport is pervasive, with opportunities for company branding ranging from signage on uniforms and on field, to vouchers and other promotions.
"Kids playing outdoor cricket and rugby league were exposed to the greatest amount of unhealthy messages."
Dr Kelly said the hig
Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has looked at yoghurt products and found that while they are often marketed as healthy, low fat, calcium rich options for kids and adults alike, the truth is some are more like dairy-based desserts.
"Packaged breakfast pots, particularly yoghurts with muesli, can be an easy option on-the-go, but the convenience can come at the cost of high kilojoule and sugar levels," says CHOICE Investigative Journalist Kate Browne.