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Children being picky with food is the most annoying thing for parents. Turn out, it isn't really the child's fault. How children perceive high-calorie foods depends on how much fat have accumulated around their waistlines, a new study says.
So lean children will have more powerful brain responses while looking at high-calorie foods compared to children with lower lean body weight. On the contrary, the researchers found that children with higher body fat had lower activity in this same brain area when they saw pictures of healthier, low-calorie foods. Read: Children with college-educated parents found to have healthier eating habits
Kids with more lean body weight might have a greater reward response to higher calorie foods, in part because they have greater energy needs compared to children with less lean body weight, said Nicole Fearnbach from Pennsylvania State University's department of nutritional sciences in a statement. Read about: Small pieces of food improve eating behaviour in children
Bigger kids burn more calories and our results show that their brains respond differently to foods, Fearnbach added. The study involved 38 children aged seven to 10 and their parents. Interestingly, the team also found that children with more body fat had a reduced brain response to healthy foods. Here's why you should encourage good eating habits in your children
It might be that kids with higher body fat find those healthier foods to be less rewarding. The results suggest that children's body composition may influence how their brains respond to food. Future studies are needed to determine how these findings relate to children's food intake or their body weight over time, the authors said. Read: Obese children are more susceptible to food commercials
The research is scheduled to be presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behaviour (SSIB) in Denver, Colorado.
Image source: Getty Images
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