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Junk food linked to childhood obesity

With childhood obesity becoming a greater problem, a new study finds that weight control is more than just a matter of counting calories.
(ABC) -- With childhood obesity becoming a greater problem, a new study finds that weight control is more than just a matter of counting calories.

About 30 percent of U.S. children are overweight or obese. Experts say junk food is partly to blame for their growing waistlines.

Kids today eat nearly three snacks per day, compared to just one for children from 30 years ago.

For a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers looked at the effects of snacks on 201 children in grades three through six.

Some were given high-nutrient snacks of cheese and vegetables while others got low-nutrient snacks of potato chips.

Allowed to eat as much as they wanted, those children who ate the cheese and vegetable combination consumed 72 percent fewer calories than the potato chip group.

In other words, they needed far fewer calories to feel full.

The authors conclude that a high-nutrient combination snack of cheese and vegetables can be effective in reducing kids’ calorie consumption during snacking.

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