The results of a study presented at the conference of the Association of Nordic Nutritionists at Hilton Hotel Nordica in Reykjavík on Monday indicate that the number of overweight six-year-olds in Iceland has decreased by half since ten years ago.
Archive photo by Páll Kjartansson.
The rate has dropped from 20 percent to ten percent in the period. Two groups were surveyed, the first born 1995-1997 and the second 2005-2007, Fréttablaðið reports.
“Among changes seen in the diet of infants between surveys is that the consumption of proteins at the age of nine months is lower in the second group,” said Ingibjörg Gunnarsdóttir, the author of the study.
According to Ingibjörg, the drop in protein consumption among infants can, for example, be explained by cow’s milk having largely been replaced by breast milk and stoðmjólk, a custom-made milk for infants.
“Very high intake of protein could be explained, among other factors, by extensive consumption of cow’s milk, up to two liters a day, among children aged 9-12 months,” Ingibjörg said.
Other studies have also indicated that high intake of protein during the first years of one’s life increase the risk of obesity later on.
“Boys who consumed the most protein at the age of 9-12 months had a significantly higher body weight ratio at the age of six than boys who had consumed less protein,” Ingibjörg added.
“There are other factors that might have had an impact but the effect of protein consumption is notable,” she stated.
Inga Þórsdóttir, the conference’s main organizer, declared the work of the group involved in the study to be fantastic. “Iceland has improved during the period surveyed. Young parents are doing better things in raising their children now than ten years ago.”
The conference of the Association of Nordic Nutritionists, which is held every four years, opened for the tenth time in Reykjavík on Monday. Former President of Iceland Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, who serves as patron for this year’s conference, attended the opening.