Fifty-five 12-month-old children were followed for 6 months. Every month, the researchers checked the growth pattern (weight, height and body fat) and performed dietary analysis. The period between the 1st and 2nd year of life is important because regular food starts replacing breast milk and formula.
A low-fat diet is not recommended for children under five
The diets of the children in the study were appropriate in terms of total calories but often low in fat, under 30%. They were getting enough vitamins A, C, B, and D and calcium, but the intake of zinc, vitamin E and iron was inadequate.
Vitamin E is fat soluble and is found in high fat foods, such as oil. In this study, all children receiving less than 30% of calories from fat were deficient in vitamin E. Many were not getting enough meat, which is a good source of iron and zinc.
A low-fat diet is not recommended for children under five because it does not provide enough calories for normal growth, plus, as is clear from this study, it may lead to insufficient vitamin and mineral intake.
The children most likely to be on low-fat diets are vegetarian children, or children who believe the American Heart Association's genocidal advice to put all children over the age of 2 on a low-fat diet. Hopefully, this paper in Pediatrics will help many little kids and anxious parents.Ref : Pediatrics 2000;106:109-114.