The Scientific Bread Committee in Spain (INCERHPAN) has conducted a study with 504 children aged between 8 and 13 years, from La Coruña, Barcelona, Madrid, Seville and Valencia, which shows that children who eat more of bread have less problems with their weight (15.8% have excess weight and 13.9% obesity), than those who eat less bread (16.6% of these are overweight and 20.5% they are obese).
Children who consume more bread, not only have a lower body mass index (BMI) -18.8 versus 19.4-than those who eat less, but the contribution of calories to their diet is more balanced, and the variables associated with cardiovascular risk (cholesterol and triglycerides) and with the control of glycaemia (basal glucose and basal insulin) are better in their case.
The research, directed by the professor in Nutrition at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), Rosa Ortega, also calculated the healthy diet index (IAS), and found that the diet of 18.6 percent of children studied was inadequate , and that although 31.7 percent were fed "acceptable", their diet was not "completely balanced", which shows that more than half (50.3 percent) is at risk of suffering some deficit or nutritional imbalance.
The study found that adding two daily servings of white bread to the children's diet, the caloric profile of the diet improves substantially, by increasing the level of energy from carbohydrates (47% versus 44% previously), and decreasing that which comes from fats and proteins (from 40% to 37%).
The "American model"
The increase in overweight and obesity among children is a serious health problem that must be corrected to prevent the onset of preventable diseases in adulthood. In Europe, childhood obesity is spreading dangerously, while in the United States it is much worse than previously believed, according to the results of a study carried out in Southern California, which has published Journal of Pediatrics, in which more than 700,000 children and adolescents participated. The data reveal that 45,000 of these minors (which is more than 6 percent) are extremely obese.
The research also shows that "extreme obesity" is increasing and currently affects 7 percent of boys and 5 percent of girls and, overall, slightly more than 2 percent of all girls. children who are less than five years old.
Korina Koebnick, researcher of the Kaiser Permanente health system, warns that if important changes are not made in the life habits of these children, they will die prematurely (between 10 and 20 years before normal), and since they were very young -a 20 or 30 years old- will develop pathologies typical of people over 60.
In the United States, at present, two out of three adults are overweight or obese, and one third of children suffer from obesity, which increases the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases. For this reason, the first lady of the USA, Michelle Obama, is leading a government campaign with the aim of improving nutrition in homes and schools to fight against childhood obesity.