Source: Children are hungrier for snacks, study finds By Melissa Healy on (

When American kids reflect upon their childhoods decades from now, snacks may figure more prominently in their memories -- and around their waists -- than meals shared around a table.

From 1977 to 2006, American children have added 168 snack calories per day to their diets, a study finds. They're munching cookies after school, granola bars on the way to piano lessons, chips after an hour of soccer practice and peanut butter and crackers while waiting for dinner. For some, those extra 1,176 calories a week could amount to as much as 13 1/2 pounds of body fat a year.

Those non-meal noshes now account for more than a quarter of their average daily caloric intake, said Barry M. Popkin of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, author of the study published Tuesday in the journal Health Affairs.

The research establishes just how much the omnipresence of snacks -- and the $68-billion-a-year industry that sells them -- has contributed significantly to an epidemic of excess weight among U.S. children.

But even as public health officials remove sodas and fat- and salt-laden snacks from school vending machines, parents hoping to roll back the tide of snacking face some daunting challenges, including a food industry dedicated to satisfying the nation's voracious between-meal appetite with snack wraps, burger bites and miniature candy bars marketed as midafternoon pick-me-ups.

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--- Well, diets are a huge fad that has taken hold over the last ten years, be it Atkins or South Beach, what have you, and a lot of diets disagree about carbohydrates. I don't know if these are practice by kids but for teens and adults it is. A new one has been unveiled on The View, called the F Factor Diet; It was invented by Tanya Zuckerbrot (ironically, "Zuckerbrot" means "sugar bread" in German; "zucker" meaning sugar and "brot" meaning bread) and aside from a particular brand of crackers, doesn't advocate a specific food item that supply will send you running for payday loans to get. The gist of it is to take in carbohydrates in moderation, and taking in those high fiber, and increasing high fiber foods in what you eat.

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