Ultra-processed foods worsen children’s motor skills – medical practice

Why children should not eat ultra processed foods

When children called ultraprocessed food not only damages their motor skills, but consumption is also associated with poorer cardiovascular fitness.

The aim of a new study involving experts from Sacred Heart University was to examine the relationship between dietary behavior – especially the consumption of ultra-processed foods – and physical fitness indicators on a nationally representative sample children and young people investigate.

The results were presented at this year’s annual meeting of the American Nutrition Society NUTRITION 2022.

Where did the analyzed data come from?

Explore the relationship between physical fitness and ultra-processed foods in different stages of childhood In order to investigate, the researchers analyzed data from National Youth Fitness Surveypart National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) Yippee.

The study defined ultra-processed foods as packaged snacks, breakfast cereals, candies, lemonades, sugary juices and yoghurts, canned soups and ready-made foods such as pizza, hot dogs, burgers and chicken nuggets.

Effects on motor development

Musculoskeletal development was used as a measure of physical fitness in children under five years of age. The analysis showed that children with the lowest score for motor development Daily 273 more calories from processed foods than children with the highest motor development score.

Impaired cardiovascular fitness

In older children, on the other hand, cardiovascular fitness was used as a measure of physical fitness. teenagers and preschoolers good cardiovascular fitness he took 226 fewer calories a day from ultra-processed foods than in children who did not have good cardiovascular fitness.

Effects of processed foods on adults

Previous studies have found that consuming ultra-processed foods does higher risk of cardiovascular disease in adults connected, according to the team.

However, the effect of such a diet on children has not yet been sufficiently studied. Current research is one of the first studies to show a link between the consumption of ultra-processed foods and lower physical fitness in children.

The role of diet and exercise at a young age

A healthy diet and exercise are introduced at a very young age“Says the author of the study Dr. Jacqueline Vernarelli in the press release.

Our results point to the need to educate families on cost-effective ways to reduce the intake of ultra-processed foods to reduce the risk of cardiovascular health problems in adulthood.“Adds the expert.

Parents should give their children healthy food

The study shows how important it is to prepare healthy snacks and meals. “Think of it as retirement savings: you are now making decisions that will affect your child’s future“So Vernarelli.”

In further studies, the research group plans to Formulas of consumption of ultraprocessed foods by age groups explore more closely. Researchers want to find out if children eat more of these foods, for example for breakfast, lunch or as a snack.

Better understanding how and when these foods are consumedcould in future measures to promotion of healthy nutrition be helpful, explain the team. (as)

Author and resource information

This text conforms to the specifications of the medical literature, medical recommendations and current studies and has been reviewed by medical experts.


  • NUTRITION 2022 LIVE ONLINE: Intake of ultra-processed food is associated with poor cardiovascular fitness in children and adolescents in the USA (abgefragt 17.06.2022), NUTRITION 2022 LIVE ONLINE
  • American Nutrition Society: Are Highly Processed Foods Bad for Kids? (veröffentlicht 14.06.2022), American Society for Nutrition

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It can’t replace a doctor’s visit.

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