Fewer Children Overweight in Iceland

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Fewer Children Overweight in Iceland

The rate of six-year-old children over the ideal weight is now lower than it was ten years ago while the number of obese children has not increased, according to new research. However, improvements to the diet of Icelandic children is needed.

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Photo: Zoë Robert/Iceland Review.

According to a study by the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority, the Public Health Authority and the Directorate of Health, Icelanders are eating more healthy than ten years ago. Consumption of saturated fat and added sugar has decreased while consumption of vegetables, fruit and wholegrain bread has increased. The number of people taking lýsi, cod liver oil, has also increased, Fréttablaðið reports.

However, the results of another recent study, ‘Diet of Six-Year-Old Icelandic Children – National Dietary Survey 2011-2012,’ which was recently published in Icelandic Medical Journal, showed that six-year-old children are not consuming enough fruit, vegetables fish or lýsi.

The study found that the vitamin and mineral density of the diet is adequate, with the exception of vitamin-D, but that the contribution of low energy density food to total energy intake is high.

Only one in four children gets their daily recommended calorie intake, which is set at around 60 percent of that of adults, from fruit, vegetables and cereals, which is below public recommendations.

According to the study, children get around a quarter of their energy needs from biscuits, cakes, soft drinks, juice, confectionary, snacks and ice cream, of which they consume too much.

ZR