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Young Children Are Not Eating Enough Omega-3 Fatty Acids

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Title: Young Children Are Not Eating Enough Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Author: MacKinnon, Jessica; Turini, Sabrina; Haines, Jess; Ma, David ML
Abstract: Fats in the diet and the blood are associated with the development of many chronic diseases. Omega-3s (ALA, EPA, and DHA) and omega-6s are of particular importance during early childhood development and may affect long-term disease risk. Studies in rodents have linked early life exposure to omega-3 and omega-6 fats to cancer risk later in life, but the same has not been studied in humans. This study examines omega-3 and omega-6 consumption in the diet, levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fats in the blood, and BMI in order to assess future risk of cancer and other health outcomes in children in the Guelph Family Health Study. This study involves parents with young children, aged 1.5 to 5 years. Dietary omega-3 consumption in children was low, with average daily intakes of 507.2mg, 27.5mg, and 68.2 mg of the omega-3s fatty acids ALA, EPA, and DHA. These values are lower than those found in previous research in Canadian children and do not meet current recommendations for ALA intake. Blood omega-6 concentrations were 11.8 times higher than blood omega-3 concentrations. Very high blood levels of omega-6, when compared to omega-3 levels have been associated with long-term inflammation and increased cancer risk. Additionally, increased concentrations of ALA in the blood corresponded to decreased BMI Z-score. Because higher BMI and obesity are major risk factors for metabolic diseases and cancer, elevating plasma ALA levels in children may have implications for decreasing weight-related disease risk later in life. Finally, when compared to their parents, blood omega-3 concentrations were 27.2% lower in children.
Description: Poster was part of 'What We Know' display, held on March 1, 2017 at the Quebec Street Mall in Downtown Guelph. At 'What We Know,' the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute brought together 50 posters featuring diverse research on Guelph and Wellington from community organizations, municipal staff, faculty and students. Topics included feral cats, farmland loss, food waste, the wellbeing of children and more - all specific to Guelph and Wellington.
Date: 2017-03-01
Rights: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada
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Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada