Feeding Your Kids Right Pays Off
Cancer Report Proof That Feeding Your Kids Right Pays Off Long-Term
The launch of a report into the prevention of cancer confirms that investing in kids' diets now pays off in the long run, says Feeding our Futures spokesperson Michelle Mako.
The comments follows the launch of a landmark report by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research entitled Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective.
The report has been five years in the making and is the largest of its kind, based on thousands of scientific studies.
It highlights obesity and inactivity as clear risk factors for cancer, and recommends maintaining a healthy weight and eating a healthy diet, including fruit, vegetables and other nutritious foods as a way of promoting good health.
Michelle Mako says maintaining healthy weight starts at childhood.
"We know that if a person becomes overweight or obese as a child, they are more likely to develop into an overweight or obese adult.
"By establishing good eating practices early on in life you can help your children to develop healthy habits that can support them well into adulthood. And by getting them to eat well from a young age you're not only giving them better nutrition today but you’re also investing in their health tomorrow."
The report also highlights sugary drinks and energy-dense foods as key risk factors in promoting weight gain. "That's why we're asking parents to consider offering water and milk to children, instead of sugary drinks, as these offer good nutrition and hydration without added sugar. Another way parents can cut back on foods that are high in energy but low in goodness is by offering fruit and vegetables, or home-made healthy snacks instead of packaged, processed snack foods. That way you’re keeping kids fuelled but you’re giving them nutritious healthy food rather then just empty calories."
The Health Sponsorship Council's Feeding our Futures programme offers practical, low-cost tips to parents and caregivers about ways they can achieve healthy diets for kids. Tips include getting kids involved in cooking, making half your family’s meal vegetables and eating together regularly as a family.
The New Zealand Cancer Society and other health and physical activity organisations will meet in Wellington on 21 November to discuss the new report.