April 26, 2016 – Why Cookie Monster just can’t help it
Compared to toddlers who crave salty foods, little ones who mindlessly snack on cookies and cake may be more likely to wind up overweight, a U.S. study suggests.
To study what’s known as eating in the absence of hunger, researchers tracked how many sweet and salty snacks children ate just after finishing a full meal.
Children who ate the most sweets after the meal and threw the biggest tantrums when the treats were taken away had greater odds of gaining excess weight than kids who grazed on salty foods or didn’t put up a fuss when their snack was removed, the study found.
Biology may be to blame because none of the differences in family or household characteristics explained why only some children craved sugar, said senior study author Dr. Julie Lumeng, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.