Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Diet Foods For Children May Lead To Obesity

Date:
August 9, 2007
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
Diet foods and drinks for children may inadvertently lead to overeating and obesity, says a new report. The researchers contend that children who consume low-calorie versions of foods that are normally high in calories may develop distorted connections between taste and calorie content, leading them to overeat as they grow up.

Diet foods and drinks for children may inadvertently lead to overeating and obesity, says a new report from the University of Alberta.

A team of researchers contends that animals learn to connect the taste of food with the amount of caloric energy it provides, and children who consume low-calorie versions of foods that are normally high in calories may develop distorted connections between taste and calorie content, leading them to overeat as they grow up.

"Based on what we've learned, it is better for children to eat healthy, well-balanced diets with sufficient calories for their daily activities rather than low-calorie snacks or meals," said Dr. David Pierce, a University of Alberta sociologist and lead author of the paper.

The researchers conducted a series of elaborate experiments that proved substituting low-calorie versions of foods and drinks led to overeating in a sample of young rats, including ones that were lean and ones that were genetically obese. Although both lean and obese rats overate during their regular meals, the added calories have more serious health implications for obese animals.

Adolescent rats that were also fed diet foods did not display the same tendency to overeat. The researchers believe the older rats did not overeat because they, unlike the younger rats, relied on a variety of taste-related cues to correctly assess the energy value of their food.

"The use of diet food and drinks from an early age into adulthood may induce overeating and gradual weight gain through the taste conditioning process that we have described," Pierce said.

Pierce added that his team's "taste conditioning process" theory may explain "puzzling results" from other studies, such as a recent one from researchers at the University of Massachusetts, who found links between diet soda consumption (among children") and a higher risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, but further research is necessary with older animals using a variety of taste-related cues.

"One thing is clear at this point," Pierce said, "our research has shown that young animals can be made to overeat when low-calorie foods and drinks are given to them on a daily basis, and this subverts their bodies' energy-balance system.

"Parents and health professionals should be made aware of this and know that the old-fashioned ways to keep children fit and healthy--insuring they eat well-balanced meals and exercise regularly--are the best ways. Diet foods are probably not a good idea for growing youngsters."

The research was published August 8 in the journal Obesity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "Diet Foods For Children May Lead To Obesity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070808082035.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2007, August 9). Diet Foods For Children May Lead To Obesity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070808082035.htm
University of Alberta. "Diet Foods For Children May Lead To Obesity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070808082035.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins