A Perspective: Toddler Feeding, Science, and Nutrition Policy : Nutrition Today

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A Perspective

Toddler Feeding, Science, and Nutrition Policy

Achterberg, Cheryl PhD

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Nutrition Today 52(2):p S6-S13, 3/4 2017. | DOI: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000199


This perspective builds on the full collection of articles in this supplement to explore the influences that may impact a young child's sweet taste perception and dietary intake of sugar, as well as sugar's impact on lifelong dietary patterns and longer-term health status. The article acknowledges the current scientific and public interest in and concerns about sugar and the challenges in appropriate research designs for the age group of birth to 24 months. Sugar consumption, the mother-child feeding relationship, and the various social meanings given to sugar are discussed. Research gaps are highlighted. Recommendations are made to address the overall lack of pediatric data, social science insights, theory, and selected content issues, as well as the criteria by which studies are selected for inclusion in dietary guidelines formation. Examples of content gaps include the influence of portion size, dietary variety and balance, and the effect of sugar and nonnutritive sweeteners on the development of the gut microbiota. A call is made to increase funding for pediatric nutrition research.

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

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