Healthy bites

By • Published: April 2nd, 2007
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

No one is blaming the little tykes, but living with kids seems to be associated with a fatty diet.

Scientists from Iowa and Michigan crunched some federal nutrition numbers and found that adults who live with children eat about five additional grams of daily fat compared with adults who do not live with kids.

That adds up to about thirty-five additional grams of fat per week… about as much as one might find in a good bacon cheeseburger.

That total includes about fourteen additional weekly grams of saturated fat, which has been linked to heart disease.

In compiling the data, trained nutritionists asked detailed questions about how often individuals and family members ate high-fat foods and about what they had eaten in the previous twenty-four hours.

They discovered adults living with kids were more likely to eat foods such as… surprise! …pizza, potato chips and ice cream.

The findings, based on data from the federal government’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, differ from most family diet studies because instead of examining how adults affect children’s eating habits, this one considered how children may influence adults’ food intake.

The research implies that healthy changes in eating need to focus on everyone in the household, not just individuals. But before it is completely safe to say the presence of children causes adults to eat more fat, scientists say additional studies are needed.

In the meantime, please pass the unbuttered popcorn.