Why Finishing that PhD Will Benefit the Health of Your Children

September 18, 2014 at 2:42 pm Leave a comment

Here’s another great reason for sticking it out in the lab and finishing that PhD. According to a new study from the University of British Columbia, children of college-educated parents eat more vegetables and drink less sugar. But it’s still not enough, the study goes on to say, as all kids are falling short when it comes to eating healthier at school.

The research suggests a parent’s educational attainment, an indicator of socioeconomic status, may inform a child’s diet.

The study found Vancouver school children whose parents completed some post-secondary education were 85 per cent more likely to eat vegetables during the school week than those with parents who completed high school or less. Children whose parents graduated from college or university were 67 per cent less likely to consume sugary drinks, like soda pop.

“We can only speculate on the reasons for the disparities,” says co-author Jennifer Black, a food, nutrition and health professor in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. “Higher priced products, like vegetables, may not be the food that gets packed first for vulnerable families that need to make tough choices about school lunches.”

The study revealed, however, that the majority of children, regardless of socioeconomic status, do not consume enough low-fat milk or whole grains on school days, opting instead for packaged snack foods like potato chips or fast-food style items, like French fries, high in sodium and saturated fat.

“While there are still barriers that exist for low-income children, families from across the socioeconomic spectrum are struggling to get their kids to eat healthy food at school,” says Black. “Our findings challenge this common notion that only low-income families feed their kids junk food because it appears wealthy families are not always making healthier choices either.”

Background

The study surveyed nearly 1,000 students in Grades 5 to 8, asking them to report their daily food consumption at school, or while travelling to and from school. Less than half of the kids reported consuming fruit, vegetables, whole grains or low-fat milk. Seventeen per cent reported eating fast food, 20 per cent reported eating packaged snack foods and 31 per cent reported drinking sugary drinks daily. Fifteen per cent of the students reported going hungry.

“Our study provides new insight on what kids are eating, or not eating, in Vancouver public schools,” says co-author Naseam Ahmadi, a M.Sc. graduate in human nutrition. “Overall, things aren’t looking so good. More work is needed to address the dietary needs of children when they go off to school.”

Thanks to the University of British Columbia for contributing this story.

Entry filed under: Biotechnology News and Info from Canadian Universities. Tags: , .

Bringing Biotechnology Into The Home I Want to Graduate!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


biorad1

Bio-Rad Canada has sponsored the development of this site to advance the productivity of the Canadian Biotechnology sector and the fine people who work in it across the country.  We invite readers to contribute content: posters, tools, research and presentations, articles white papers, multimedia, music downloads and entertainment, conference announcements, videos. Please contact info@cbt20.ca for more information.

Bookmark and Share

Site developed by What If What Next(TM)

Follow us on Twitter


%d bloggers like this: