Focus on teeth to keep children healthy
New research from the Sahlgrenska Academy in the University of Gothenburg has called for people to use dental health as a means of keeping children at a normal weight. The team hope that by talking about eating behaviours rather than weight itself, it could be possible to tackle the main issue from a different angle. The research used data from a number of sub-studies enabling the authors to assess a range of variables. Using data from 271 pre-school and primary children, the researchers were able to compare the presence of cariogenic bacteria in saliva to the weight of an individual. They found that children with a higher number of dental caries were more likely to be overweight or obese.
They also found that children who were counselled on a ‘balanced diet’ also had improved mental health throughout the course of the studies. The research went on to show that self-esteem is linked to healthier eating habits, even as long as two years later. One of the main authors, Louis Arvidsson, hopes that the results from this study will help parents when it comes to choosing what kind of food is made available to children, and what kind of behaviours are instilled in those children from a young age.