Given the growing contributions of snacks to dietary intake and the need for effective strategies to reduce and prevent obesity, it is important to consider whether snacking behaviors are associated with high body mass index (BMI) in childhood. This review summarizes U.S. research that has examined trends in snacking behaviors and its contributions to dietary intake, as well as research describing the availability of snack foods and beverages in settings where youth spend their time. It also discusses the results of U.S. and international studies that have examined associations of snacking behaviors and weight status. Findings from the review suggest that while energy dense, nutrient-poor snacks are widely available in various settings where young people spend their time and the contribution of snacks to overall dietary intake of U.S. children and adolescents have increased significantly over the past few decades, regular snacking is not related to obesity, nor should children and adolescents be discouraged from consuming snacks.
Published: April 2013
ID #: 1067
Journal: Child Obes
Authors: Larson N, Story M
Focus Area: Diet Quality & Healthy Weight
Resource Type: Journal Article
Additional Fruit and Vegetable Vouchers for Pregnant WIC Clients: An Equity-Focused Strategy to Improve Food Security and Diet QualityWomen with low household income and from racial/ethnic minority groups are at elevated risk of food insecurity. Food insecurity during pregnancy is associated with overall less healthy diets, lower intake of the pregnancy-supportive nutrients iron and folate, and significant variations in diet across the course of a month. The goal of this study was to More