"After years of conducting studies in children with overweight conditions residing in environments that promote obesity, our translational research team decided that it was time to examine healthy weight children living in areas that provided opportunities for outdoor physical activity and access to healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables," says senior researcher Melinda Sothern, PhD, Professor and Jim Finks Endowed Chair in Health Promotion at LSU Health New Orleans schools of Public Health and Medicine. "The island of Grenada, a middle-income Caribbean country undergoing a transition to a westernized diet and lifestyle, was the perfect setting to examine differences between children and adolescents in the US versus youth residing in a country in the midst of this epidemiologic transition. Our study identified for the first time that Grenadian female adolescents adhering to a traditional diet rich in healthy foods that are high in antioxidants and other inflammation-lowering nutrients have lower rates of obesity than those consuming a more westernized diet. In general, Grenadian youth were less overweight than US children and adolescents with males demonstrating the lowest levels of obesity in Grenada."
The team studied Grenadian school children, whose average age was 12.7 years. The researchers took detailed information about diet including traditionally prepared and ultra-processed food consumption and family history, as well as physical measurements -- height, weight and waist circumference. They found the prevalence of overweight/obesity among Grenadian girls was half that of their American counterparts -- 22.7% vs. 44.7%. Grenadian boys showed an overweight/obesity prevalence three times less than that of American boys -- 12.2% vs. 38.8%.
As the Grenadian...
Wake Up To Breaking News!