Could Fats Prevent Child Obesity?

Only “good” fats, not other kinds of fats, may have a good influence on children`s metabolism, according to recent Swedish studies. Researchers found that children who follow a diet low in good fats can become overweight.

The study involved almost two hundred four-year old children, and supervised their insulin levels, dietary intake, lifestyle, and eating habits. After the Body Mass Index (BMI) measures, twenty-three percent of them were considered overweight and two percent obese.

The results showed a connection between the fat intake and the BMI. Children with high BMI were gaining weight but they were not the ones who consumed the biggest amount of fat. More fats were consumed by children with normal or low BMI. The problem with overweight children was that their bodies stored too much fat.

A third of the children who participated to the study had a deficiency of unsaturated fat in the diet, especially omega-3 fat, according to a researcher who led the study. Researchers also found that children who gained weight had the highest insulin level, girls in particular. Girls who consumed a lot of unsaturated fat had the lowest insulin level.

An iron deficiency was registered for seventy percent of the children, while twenty percent of them had calcium problems. However, further studies are needed to prove that fat may not cause an increased level of insulin, according to the researchers.

The study showed that unsaturated fat, omega-3 fat in particular, may be a key to preventing child obesity.

The good fats that can lower the level of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are found in nuts, olive oil, and canola while the polyunsaturated fats are in salmon, fish oil, soy, corn, sunflower oil, and safflower. Omega-3 fat belongs to this group.

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