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Children who are leaner report eating more polyunsaturated fatty acids

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Public Release: 12-Aug-2015

More PUFAs and a higher ratio of PUFA: Saturated fatty acids are included in the self-reported diets of leaner children

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

AURORA, Colo. (Aug. 12, 2015) – The results of a recent study show that children who report eating more polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), found in tree nuts, seeds and fatty fish, and consume a higher ratio of PUFA: saturated fatty acids (SFAs), have more lean body mass, lower percent body fat, and less intra-abdominal fat (belly fat).

The study was published in “The Journal of Nutrition” and conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center and the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo. in collaboration with the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The study looked at a group of racially diverse children ages 7-12 (39% European-American, 34% African-American, and 27% Hispanic-American). Each child, with parental supervision, provided two separate self-reports of their 24-hour dietary intakes.

“Studies have identified a variety of benefits of including PUFAs into an adult’s diet, particularly omega-3 fatty acids,” said Michelle Cardel, PhD, RD, the study’s lead author. “Our data suggests that consumption of PUFAs is associated with improved body composition in diverse groups of children. It’s important to note, however, that this study was cross-sectional and no causation can be concluded. Randomized experiments are needed to confirm these findings.”

Each child’s body composition and abdominal fat distribution were measured by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry and computed tomography scans, respectively. Those who ate more PUFAs and had a higher ratio of PUFA: SFAs in their reported diet were found to be leaner, have less body fat and less abdominal adiposity.

“Hopefully this work will stimulate additional research to determine if there is a causal relationship between dietary PUFAs, body fat and lean mass in kids,” Cardel said. “Until then, children should consume fatty fish, such as salmon, twice a week to reach Institute of Medicine recommendations for omega-3 fatty acids.”

Cardel is a nutrition scientist and registered dietitian. She plans to continue her research exploring the environmental, behavioral, social, dietary, and genetic factors that influence the development of obesity in diverse groups of children.

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About the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center:

The CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center is an innovative, state-of-the art research, education and consumer care facility at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. The center’s mission is to transform the lives of individuals and communities through science-based wellness strategies. Our research is translated into customized programs and offerings, delivered through our wellness clinic and in the community, through partnerships with schools, worksites and community organizations. We believe that wellness changes everything and our vision is a world where wellness is the norm. Learn more at http://www.anschutzwellness.com.

About Post Author

Ralph Turchiano

I have a strong affinity for the sciences which led me to create my sites. My compulsion for the past decade has been reviewing literally every peer-reviewed research article. Which can easily be validated by following my posts. To me, science is where the real news is, as it will mold our destiny beyond that of politics or economics. 😉 Please feel free to e-mail: 161803p314159@gmail.com
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One thought on “Children who are leaner report eating more polyunsaturated fatty acids

  1. The type of PUFA is more important than the ratio of PUFA to saturated fat. Omega-6 PUFAs increase appetite by creating endo-cannabinoids. Omega-6 PUFAs compete with Omega-3 PUFAs for inclusion in our cell membranes. Omega-6 PUFAs promote inflammation, pain, allergic response and plaque formation in our arteries. Omega-3 PUFAs limit or block inflammation, clotting and allergic reaction. Our bodies make saturated fats from carbs when we eat more than we burn and store that fat in our adipose tissue so by definition, fat people will have higher ratio of saturated fat to PUFAs. If we are lean, we will have a lower ratio of saturated fat to PUFA by default. A lower ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 is far more important!

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