These Foods Cause The Most Weight Gain In Kids

  • Parents Only

By: Phoebe Ackland and Lisa Wolff, ellaslist

A whopping quarter of Aussie kids are overweight or obese (Better Health Channel). A sedentary lifestyle (more TV, iPad and less outdoor sport and play) is much to blame for our children’s ballooning weight. However their diet and an increase in the consumption of packaged, processed, convenience food has all contributed to this obesity issue.

In a study conducted on 4,600 kids in the UK, researchers discovered that there is a list of foods that promote more weight gain than others.

It’s All About Balance

We are big believers in a balanced diet and are happy for our kids to eat treats as long as they are in moderation. However these findings will make us think twice about giving our kids the snacks listed below.

So here are some foods to avoid if at all possible- they’ve been linked to this growing obesity epidemic.

High in Added Sugar

Soft drinks. They’re fast becoming the number 1 treat to avoid all together, with some nations taxing these sugary drinks due to their close link with rising obesity rates. Also be careful of so called ‘fruit’ juices that are packed with sugar and in some cases preservatives. Teach kids from a young age that water is their best friend. Plus, these drinks aren’t as filling as ‘bad’ food, (but just as calorific) so kids will tend to consume more. Beware of non-fibre sugary breakfast cereals and muesli bars as well!


High Calorie, But Not Filling

Energy dense but low in the satiety department. The main perpetrator of this one is potato chips! Potato chips in a child’s diet has been linked to the heaviest kids in several studies. Surprisingly, potatoes were found to be more filling and nutritious- so natural is always the way to go. Fatty foods are often not very filling either so it’s best to eat hot chips and fried chicken nuggets in moderation.

potato chips

Processed Is Not Best

Another obesity perpetrator are refined grains so be careful about the kind of breads and pastas you buy – opt for wholegrain or rye wherever possible! Processed grains are often low in fibre which will tend to make kids feel less full and overeat. Avoid Processed Meat where you can. Desserts are also weight-gain culprits (no surprise here). So monitor what desserts you give them- and remember it’s always better to make your own!

High GI

Foods high on the glycaemic index mean that kids get a quick fix- a surge in their blood sugar which will often lead to more cravings. Look for low GI snacks where possible.

hot chips

A List of The Foods That Lead To More Weight Gain

  • Fried Coated Fish

  • Processed Meats

  • Fried Coated Poultry

  • Refined Grains

  • Nuts

  • Hot Chips and Roasted Potatoes

  • Potato Chips

  • Sweetened Soft Drink

  • Fat Spreads

  • Desserts & Sweets

  • Non-High Fibre Breakfast Cereals

Source: Health Affairs

The Obesity-Fighting Foods

It was interesting, that according to the results of the study, there were only three food categories that fought against weight gain. These are: poultry that isn’t breaded or fried, high-fibre brekkie cereals and whole grains.

Moderation is the Key

While there are good foods and not-so-good foods for us and our kids, we still come back to that notion of the balanced diet. Let’s don’t ban hot chips forever more. But just make sure they’re eaten in moderation and together with healthier foods and an active lifestyle to avoid weight gain.

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