Children need their own dietary guidelines, say experts

hich the fat content should gradually decrease to recommended levels.

a call for guidelines to be based on research determining the health benefits of applying these guidelines to children, recognizing that a lack of evidence of harm does not mean that such dietary recommendations are safe. As early as 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition expressed caution that applying the standard recommendations that adults receive no more than 30 percent of their energy from fat might be too restrictive for children who had not yet achieved full linear growth. Such data are lacking, say organizations like the American Society for Nutritional Sciences.

a concern that restrictive guidelines are too often misapplied by parents eager to do whats right for their children. "Health professionals must recognize that there is a low level of nutrition knowledge within the general public and that nutrition misinformation abounds," says Dr. Miller. That means guidelines need to be "carefully constructed to avoid adversely affecting nutritionally vulnerable age segments such as children and older adults."

the need for messages concerning dietary guidance to be positive, emphasizing a healthy diet rather than labeling certain foods as "bad" or creating fear about eating specific foods or categories of foods. To do otherwise may result in potential harmful effects caused by dietary restrictions in children. For example, a workshop last year on the role of dietary fat in child nutrition and development held by the American Society for Nutritional Sciences expressed concern that lower fat diets that eliminated or severely limited meat and milk might not supply adequate energy or nutrients such as iron, zinc and calcium to support normal growth and development during childhood. Unfortunately, says Dr. Miller, that appears to be the message thats going out. The 1995 Food, Physical, Acti

Contact: Gregory Miller
847-803-2000 x254
American Society for Clinical Nutrition/American Society for Nutritional Sciences

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