Adult sized portions to blame for child obesity

Parents are inadvertently fuelling the child obesity crisis with their adult sized portions, as one in 10 children are served adult-sized meals on a regular basis, a new study has exposed.
Research commissioned by the Infant and Toddler Forum (ITF) has revealed that parents are simply putting too much food on their toddler’s plates.
With almost 80 per cent of children aged one to four being given more than their recommended portion size for their age, the dangers of obesity must be outlined to parents.
The ITF have recently warned parents that regularly overfilling a child’s plate will confuse their bodies’ ability to feel full, increasing their risk of becoming obese. Eating habits that are formed as a child become increasingly difficult to break in later life.
“Most toddlers are naturally better than older children and adults at regulating their food intake,” said child and clinical psychologist, Gill Harris.
“”They usually only eat what they need and don’t overeat. However, portion size is critical. It’s one of the main ways in which, as parents, we can inadvertently override children’s self-regulation systems.”
1,000 parents were asked to select the portion size they would feed their child, from a group of pictures of popular meals. In addition to this they were asked how frequently they would let their children eat specific snacks.
The study discovered that 10 per cent of parents typically give their children adult-sized portions of spaghetti and cheese sandwiches, 71 per cent gave their children a larger portion of crisp than recommended and 24 per cent of parents would offer three times the recommended amount of jelly sweets.
If you are unsure about the portion sizes you’re serving to your kids, visit the ITF website for a list of child food portions.

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