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Adults with kids in the home eat more saturated fat—the equivalent of about one frozen pepperoni pizza each week—than do adults who don’t live with children, scientists report.
"This study really points out that we need to focus on the family as a whole, that the entire family needs to eat healthier, the parents and the children,” said lead researcher Helena Laroche of the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.
The study also found that adults with children dined on more “convenience foods," including cheese, ice cream, cakes and cookies, beef, pizza and salty snacks.
The scientists analyzed information from the federal government's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1991 and 1994.
They looked at answers from 6,600 adults aged 17 to 65, about half of whom lived with children and half without children under 17 years old. About half of the participants were male and half female, with an average age of 38 years old.
Adults living in households with children ate an additional 4.9 grams of fat daily, including 1.7 grams of saturated fat, than adults living without children.
The about two grams of daily saturated fat is significant, Laroche said, because it has been linked to an increase in the type of cholesterol that leads to a build-up of fat in blood vessels.