Home Tags Posts tagged with "eating habits"

eating habits


Animal studies suggest that high-fat diet during pregnancy has the potential to alter a baby’s developing brain and increase its chances of obesity later in life.

The team at Yale School of Medicine showed diet could change the structure of mice brains.

They argue this could explain why the children of obese parents are more likely to become grossly overweight.

Animal studies suggest that high-fat diet during pregnancy has the potential to alter a baby's developing brain and increase its chances of obesity later in life

Animal studies suggest that high-fat diet during pregnancy has the potential to alter a baby’s developing brain and increase its chances of obesity later in life

Experts said the study had merit, but brain changes in humans were unproven.

Obesity can run in families and shared eating habits are a major factor.

However, there is evidence that diet during pregnancy can also influence a child’s future waistline, such as through changes to DNA.

The latest foray into the field, published in the journal Cell, shows the structure of the brain itself may be changed.

The experiments on mice showed that mothers on a high-fat diet had pups with an altered hypothalamus, a part of the brain important for regulating metabolism.

These mouse pups were more likely to become overweight and develop type 2 diabetes than the pups of mothers given a normal diet.

Prof. Tamas Horvath, from Yale, says a healthy diet during pregnancy may help to break the cycle of obese parents having obese children.


British researchers suggest that eating meals as a family improves children’s eating habits – even if it only happens once or twice a week.

It is recommended children eat five portions of fruit and vegetables per day – about 400g.

The Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health study found those who always ate together achieved this – but those who only did sometimes came close.

Watching parents and siblings eat teaches good habits, experts said.

This study looked at just under 2,400 children at 52 primary schools in south London.

Parents and fieldworkers compiled food diaries at school and at home, ticking off all the foods and drinks a child had in one 24-hour period.

Parents were also asked questions about their attitudes to fruit and vegetables, such as “On average, how many nights a week does your family eat at a table?” and “Do you cut up fruit and vegetables for your child to eat?”

The study found 656 families said they always ate meals together at a table, 768 sometimes did, while 92 families never did so.

Children in the “always” group ate five portions of fruit and vegetables, compared with 4.6 in the “sometimes” group and 3.3 in the “never”.

That equates to the always group eating 125g more fruit and veg, and the sometimes group eating 95g more a day than the
never group.

Eating meals as a family improves children's eating habits, even if it only happens once or twice a week

Eating meals as a family improves children’s eating habits, even if it only happens once or twice a week

Seeing parents eat fruit and vegetables – and cutting up portions for children both boosted their intake.

The researchers say that, while this study gives a picture of eating habits on one day, it was able to investigate the diets of a large, diverse population.

Meaghan Christian, who conducted the study as part of her PhD, said: “Modern life often prevents the whole family from sitting round the dinner table, but this research shows that even just Sunday lunch round the table can help improve the diets of our families.”

She added: “We spend a lot of time looking at interventions at school. But this is showing how important parents are in terms of fruit and vegetable consumption.”

And Prof. Janet Cade, of the University of Leeds’ school of food science and nutrition, who supervised the study, said: “Watching the way their parents or siblings eat and the different types of food they eat is pivotal in creating children’s own food habits and preferences.”

She added: “Since dietary habits are established in childhood, the importance of promoting the family meal needs to be more prominent in public health campaigns.”

Azmina Govindji, of the British Dietetic Association, said: “Eating habits developed in childhood die hard, and eating at a table with the family instead of in front of the TV helps reduce chances of mindless eating, which can increase the likelihood of obesity.

“This study reinforces the view that children learn more from what we do than what we say, so it’s the role modelling that helps shape their future habits.”

Azmina Govindji, a practicing dietitian, added: “If children are eating better in childhood, they are more likely to make healthier choices in adult life – and since food directly impacts risks of conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes, eating together as a family seems like a small price to pay.”


Scientists claim people who believe in luck and fate are more likely to be obese.

Researchers found that those who place their hands in fate were less likely to change their lives by their own actions, leading to conditions including obesity.

Their outlook meant they exercised less, ate less healthily and smoked and drank more than those who believed their life was in their own hands.

A team from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research looked at the diet and exercise habits of more than 7,000 people and compared the results to their personality types.

Scientists claim people who believe in luck and fate are more likely to be obese

Scientists claim people who believe in luck and fate are more likely to be obese

Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark said those who had a greater faith in luck or fate were more likely to live an unhealthy life, adding: “Our research shows a direct link between the type of personality a person has and a healthy lifestyle.”

She suggested that the findings could have implications for the obesity epidemic, with psychology playing a more important role.

Prof. Deborah Cobb-Clark said: “The main policy response to the obesity epidemic has been the provision of better information, but information alone is insufficient to change people’s eating habits.

“Understanding the psychological underpinning of a person’s eating patterns and exercise habits is central to understanding obesity.”

The research also found that men and women hold different views on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

While men wanted physical results from their healthy choices, women were more receptive to the everyday enjoyment of leading a healthy lifestyle.

Prof. Deborah Cobb-Clark said this implied policies to cut obesity may need to be tailored according to gender, adding: “What works well for women may not work well for men.

“Gender-specific initiatives may be particularly helpful in promoting healthy lifestyles.”


Health experts believe Christmas is the perfect time to tell the loved ones they are overweight.

The UK National Obesity Forum and International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk said it was important to be upfront because of the health risks.

Being overweight – particularly around the waist – increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

But a poll by the groups suggests too many people shy away from the issue.

The survey of more than 2,000 people found 42% of 18 to 24-year-olds would not tell a loved one they should lose weight because of a fear they would hurt the other person’s feelings.

For those aged 25 to 44 it was just over a third, while for older people it was about one in four.

Men find it hardest to tell their partners, while women were more worried about bringing up the issue with a friend.

But with families and friends getting together up and down the country over the festive period, the experts believe there is an opportunity that should not be missed.

Prof. David Haslam, chair of the National Obesity Forum, said: “Suggesting to someone that they should consider losing a few pounds may not be a comfortable conversation to have.

“But if someone close to you has a large waistline then as long as you do it sensitively, discussing it with them now could help them avoid critical health risks later down the line and could even save their life.”

Dr. Jean Pierre Despres, scientific director of the International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk, agreed.

“Start by encouraging someone close to you to make simple lifestyle changes such as becoming more active, making small alterations to their eating habits and replacing sugary drinks with water.”

Waist fat

• In recent years, health experts have begun talking much more about what is known as abdominal obesity – basically fat round the stomach

• It is recommended that men are no larger than 94cm (37in) and women 80cm (31.5in)

• Fat around the waist is related to the release of proteins and hormones which affect how the body breaks down sugars and fats