‘Children need to consume more fat’

Healthy four-year-olds who eat a lot of fatty foods generally weigh less than their peers, according to a new study. One in three of the 200 children involved in the study was found to consume too little unsaturated fat.

The study, carried out by the Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg, shows that one in five four-year-olds have a body mass index (BMI) that is considered too high, while 2 percent are obese.

But children who regularly eat fatty foods are not the ones with a high BMI. It was instead found that a third of the children need to consume more saturated fat.

These children were primarily observed to fall short of the recommended intake of Omega-3, which naturally occurs in, for example, oily fish such as wild salmon, herring and mackerel.

On average the children consume 140 grammes of fruit and vegetables per day, which is well below the 400 grammes recommended by the National Food Administration.

Seven out of ten children receive too little iron, while one in five need to up their calcium intake.

“The vast majority of the children in our study came from a good socio-economic background.

“If the study had reflected all four-year-olds in Sweden the number of overweight children would probably have been higher,” said dietician Malin Haglund Garemo in a statement.