According to a recent study conducted by Brian Wansink, PhD, of Cornell University and his colleagues, a healthy snack of cheese and vegetables could also have another benefit – satisfying a child’s appetite faster than unhealthy alternatives while also resulting in the consumption of fewer calories.
The authors added that other factors, such as reduced physical activity, are contributed to obesity but “non-nutrient dense snacks are considered major factors,” according to MedPage Today. Combating the trend by feeding children healthier snacks could potentially go a long way over time.
The survey conducted by researchers in the study polled a reported 183 children. According to the CDC’s BMI-for-age growth chart, 38 of the participants would be considered overweight, and 43 were considered obese.
The participants were randomly organized into four snacking groups. Some were fed potato chips only, some vegetables only, some cheese only, and the rest were given both cheese and vegetables. The children were then allowed to snack freely for 45 minutes while watching television.
The study found that healthy snack eaters needed significantly fewer calories before they were satisfied.
“Is it worth noting that children offered the combination snack consumed about the same amount of vegetables as those offered vegetables only,” researchers were quoted as additionally stated in their findings.
The study also noted that parents should have “less fear of backlash” if they offer combination snacks or healthy snack replacements instead of completely removing the less healthy snack foods from their options entirely.
Authors stressed the need for additional research into the psychological and physiological effects of combination snack intake over the course of time, the medical news website learned.
The study was published online in the journal Pediatrics.