Attitude to food and fitness 'fixed at age of 10'

Attitude to food and fitness 'fixed at age of 10'

Victual leanings

Researchers at Newcastle University have carried out the study and found that a person’s attitude towards food and exercise is largely set by the tender age of 10, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

Lead researcher Heather Brown said that healthy eating habits become ingrained in childhood and that is the time for parents, schools and governments to intervene.

The study followed analysis of data on hundreds of pairs of American siblings. Some were adults who lived apart from each other, others were aged between 10 and 18 and still living in the family home.

The data was filtered to separate out the effects of influences that don’t change over time, such as genetics and upbringing, and those that are more variable, such as the friends that we keep.

The results, published in the ‘Obesity’ journal, revealed that the diet and exercise habits we pick up in childhood stay with us throughout life.

Dr Brown said attitudes towards things like whether to regularly have breakfast may be largely set by the age of 10.

“Parents are important role models. If they have an unhealthy lifestyle then their children are more likely to emulate their behaviour and continue these unhealthy habits into adulthood,” she said.

Dr Brown said, “This demonstrates the importance of early childhood interventions and prevention programmes to promote a healthier population.”

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