PARENTS

Fat Kids Have Better Diets Than Their Skinny Peers

27/12/2010 17:56 | Updated 22 May 2015

Fat children have better diets than their thinner classmates, a Norwegian study of 900 primary school students has found.

The researchers discovered overweight pupils ate healthier food, like fruit, vegetables, fish and brown bread and opted for low-calorie cheese and yoghurt more than the normal-weight students.

The findings suggest that families with overweight children may be more aware of the food they choose to eat than those who are less concerned about weight gain.

The study - undertaken by Telemark University College and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health - also revealed that fat children drank fruit juice more often than their classmates, who regularly consumed fizzy drinks, and ate a diet of processed and junk food.

The research also suggested that a healthy diet without exercise is not enough to prevent weight gain.

Professor Anne Lise Brantsæter who led the project said: 'It is positive that parents and children emphasise healthy food choices. However, it is important to note that the amount of healthy foods must be adapted to a child's activity level to limit further weight gain. Obesity is a growing problem that can have unfortunate consequences for the children both physically and mentally.'

Commenting on the fact that researchers also found that overweight children were more likely to have overweight parents, Prof Brantsæter said: 'There are many contributing factors to obesity and it is important that both parents and children are given good guidance and support early on.'

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