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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Snacking and the Environment

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One way to increase the health of teens would be to get them into the habit of carrying healthy snacks, when they are little. A recent study in Pediatrics with 800 elementary-aged children found that purchases made at corner stores contributed to the frequent intake of high-calorie, low-nutrition foods.

Makes perfect sense. Some of these kids shopped at these stores daily and with under a dollar could buy a snack with an average of 356 calories - and, in case you were wondering, they were not buying fruit, nuts, or bottled water. The most common snacks were chips, candy, and soda.

Limiting corner stores near schools would constitute a community level intervention, and families can help by making sure kids have single-servings snacks, water, and some constructive information about money management when they are young.

Photo credit: Greencolander

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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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