Children and teens consume only 20% of the recommended fruits and vegetables

Children and adolescents (NNyA) consume one-fifth of the recommended intake of fruits and vegetableswhile ultra-processed foods that are not recommended account for 35% of daily calories, according to the report “The Nutritional Situation of Children and Adolescents in Argentina” released this Tuesday. Written by UNICEF and the Inter-American Heart Foundation – Argentina (FIC Argentina).

The study also shows that boys and girls from the lowest socioeconomic level are 58% more likely to be overfed, which is the cause of overweight, obesity, or diet-related non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Argentina is characterized by a double burden of malnutrition: while one continues Malnutrition due to deficiency, there is also malnutrition due to excesssaid Luciana Castronovo, research field coordinator at FIC Argentina.

The main reason isAn inappropriate consumption pattern characterized by a high consumption of ultra-processed foods”favored by the characteristics of the diet and the “unhealthy environment”.

Ultra-processed foods are artificial formulations based primarily on substances extracted or derived from food, as well as additives such as preservatives, flavorings, flavorings, or flavorings.

These products are high in sugar, fat, and sodium, as well as low in protein, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins.

A report of the Pan American Health Organization revealed this An increase in sales of ultra-processed products is associated with an increase in body weightallowing these products to be identified as a major driver of high rates of overweight and obesity.

In this sense, the specialist noted that the most recent National Nutrition and Health Survey (ENNYS) of 2018 “shows that we have 20.4% obesity among children and adolescents (NNyA) from 5 to 17 years of age” while “the most recent regional survey report on food safety shows that Argentina from among countries with overweight among children under the age of five”.

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The aim of the research was to characterize the food consumption pattern and current nutritional status of the NNyA population in the country.describing in detail the inequalities that exist when eating different types of food.

For this purpose, data were taken from the National Nutrition and Health Survey (ENNYS 2018) and the Global School Health Survey (EMSE 2012-2018).

“35% of the energy consumed by children and adolescents comes from the group called ‘choice consumption’ such as juices, soft drinks, highly packaged bread, sausages, deli meats and hamburgers”said Victoria Tiscornia, a registered dietitian and researcher at FIC.

And this despite the fact that the Dietary Guidelines for the Population of Argentina (GAPA) prepared by the Ministry of Health “discourage the consumption of this group of foods due to their high fat, sodium and sugar content”.

The second food group with the highest average contribution of calories for a daily 2,000 calorie diet is “grains and legumes” at 22.6%.

In third place is “meat and eggs” (13.2%). “milk, yogurt and cheese” (12.1%); “oils, seeds, and nuts” (8.7%); “non-alcoholic drinks” (5.6%); Finally, “fruits and vegetables” with a rate of 3.3%.

From the comparative analysis between the average consumption pattern and the GAPA recommendations, it is seen that only 22% of the recommended fruits and vegetables are consumed; 55% milk, yogurt and cheese are recommended; 56% from cereals, potatoes, bread and pasta; and 64% from oils, seeds and nuts.

Only for the meat and egg group is there an almost exact match (99%) between the recommended proportions and those consumed.

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“We also saw that at the lowest socioeconomic levels almost twice as much table sugar is consumed as at the highest levels, and about 60% more sweet and savory baked goods,” he said.

Regarding ultra-processed foods, Tiscornia explained that GAPA recommends “consumption to a minimum, since there is no safe intake” for this type of food, even though it “adds up to more than 50% of the energy consumed by the population per day.” “

“The results of this study show the need to properly comply with the Healthy Eating Promotion Act, which includes front-facing food labeling, focusing on school settings and regulating advertising of unhealthy products, including digital marketing.” UNICEF District Health Specialist Javier Quesada explained.

“It is also important to be able to advance policies that promote consumption of fruits and vegetables among the population,” Quesada stressed.

Source: Telam

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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