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Not Just How Many Calories Kids Eat, It’s Also What They Eat

(NEW YORK) -- With childhood obesity becoming a greater problem in the U.S., a new study finds that weight control is more than just a matter of counting calories.    

About 32 percent of U.S. children are overweight or obese, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Experts say junk food is partly to blame for their growing waistlines.  Kids today eat nearly three snacks a day, compared to just one for children 30 years ago.
 
For a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers Brian Wansink, Ph.D., Mitsuru Shimizu, Ph.D., and Adam Brumberg looked at the effects of snacks on 201 children in grades three through six.
 
Some were given high-nutrient snacks of cheese and vegetables while others got low-nutrient snacks of potato chips.
 
Allowed to eat as much as they wanted, those children who ate the cheese-and-vegetable combination consumed 72 percent fewer calories than the potato-chip group. In other words, they needed far fewer calories to feel full.  
 
The study authors conclude that a high-nutrient combination snack of cheese and vegetables can be effective in reducing kids' calorie consumption during snacking.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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