“Sugar-sweetened beverages, including sodas, are the single biggest source of calories in children’s diets,” said Lauri Wright, PhD, a registered dietician with the University of South Florida.
In an article with The Villages Daily Sun, Dr. Wright details a USF Health research study to curb childhood obesity.
“One thing I’m looking at is an epidemic where one in five children is overweight or obese,” said Wright, an associate professor in the USF College of Public Health. “There is a direct relationship between fruit and vegetable intake and obesity. So we need to get to these kids now and prevent the problem before it develops.”
The study targets second graders at The Villages Charter Elementary School. They wear scented, food shaped bracelets and use placemats to track intake. Increased awareness and consumption is a desired outcome, but true success is when “they’re asking their mom and dad for more healthy foods and it becomes a lifestyle, not just a temporary thing,” said Wright.
To learn more about the research study and USF Health’s ongoing partnership with The Villages, read “USF Health launches study to instill healthier eating habits among children” in The Villages Daily Sun.