Even Minimal Counseling Can Change Kids' Eating Habits

Study showed children ate less fat, salt, after just five sessions

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MONDAY, Sept. 12, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Children from families at high risk for heart disease ate healthier after receiving just five dietary counseling sessions spread out over three years, Finnish researchers found.

Family-based counseling can achieve great goals in weight reduction among children, but most successful programs have involved six months to a year of intense counseling, the researchers point out.

However, these new findings show that "even when you have very limited resources and you can only do five interventions with these families, you're starting to see movement at least in the diet arena," said expert Sylvia Moore, director of a medical education program at the University of Wyoming.

Reporting in the current issue of the American Journal of Health Behavior, researchers at Finland's University of Turku tracked the dietary change of 432 school-aged children. The children's families were chosen using hospital records to determine a history of heart disease, stroke or high cholesterol.

The investigators found that, after the five counseling sessions, children reported eating less fat and salt than other youngsters.

More information

The National Institutes of Health has more about heart disease and diet.

SOURCE: Health Behavior News Service, news release, Sept. 5, 2005


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