Nutritional Challenges and Opportunities during the Weaning Period and in Young Childhood.
Sommaire de l'article
The early years of life are a period of very rapid growth and development. In this critical phase, food preferences are formed which carry over into childhood and beyond and foundations are laid for a healthy adult life. Excess energy, imbalances in macronutrient quality, and nutritional deficiencies may form inappropriate nutritional signals, leading to metabolic disturbances and affecting the obesity risk. For instance, the intake of protein and sugar-sweetened beverages in young children has been associated with an increased risk of overweight and obesity. In reality, scientific reports have shown that the dietary intakes of vegetables, α-linolenic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, iron, vitamin D, and iodine are low and the intakes of protein, saturated fatty acids, and added sugar are high in young children living in Europe. A focus on improving feeding habits and approaches to support more balanced nutritional intakes early in life may have significant public health benefits.