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Healthy Eating Advice Slim for Children

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AHRQ News and Numbers

Release date: February 21, 2007

About half (49 percent) of American children between 6 and 17 years of age were ever advised about healthy eating by their doctors or other health providers, according to the latest News and Numbers summary from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

  • Although the percentage may seem low, it represents a slim improvement over 2001 when just 45 percent of children in this same age group were advised about healthy eating.
  • During the same period, the percentage of children ages 2 to 5 who received advice about healthy eating also rose slightly—from 55 percent to 59 percent.

Children require a healthy diet for proper growth and development. Those with unhealthy eating patterns are at a greater risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and many other health problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that pediatricians discuss and promote healthy diets with parents.

This AHRQ News and Numbers summary is based on data from the 2006 National Healthcare Quality Report, which measures the quality of health care across America in four key areas—effectiveness of health care, patient safety, timeliness of care, and patient centeredness. The estimates are based on reports by parents surveyed by AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

For additional information on this AHRQ News and Numbers topic, or to speak with an expert, contact Bob Isquith at or call (301) 427-1539.

Current as of February 2007


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