Instead of the usual high-calorie, fatty snacks, parents may want to try substituting these with peanuts to help their overweight kids lose weight.

A study was conducted to show how peanuts, eaten as snacks, can help make overweight or even obese children, feel fuller and will likely result in them eating less of the unhealthy fare.

Craig Johnston of University of Houston said, “Obesity is the most pressing health issue facing us today, we’d like to think it’s preventable, but there hasn’t been a lot shown to be very effective on a large scale.”

Small, frequent peanut snacks may just be the answer.

The researchers gathered 257 Latino adolescents to be the participants of the study – which was conducted in three charter schools in Houston. Half of the students received a snack of peanuts or peanut butter three to four times a week, while the other half received peanut snacks once a week.

The peanut snacks were given after school, just as the students were on their way home boarding a school bus. After the 12-week intervention, students spent 12 more weeks in maintaining the snacking habit.

At the end of the study, students were measured and those who had peanut snacks more regularly weighed less in their overall BMI (-.7kg/m2) compared to their counterparts who ate peanut snacks less frequently (-.3kg/m2).

Their findings suggest that peanuts can become healthier alternative snacks for kids in school. Peanuts are nutrient-dense and heart-healthy.

The researchers noted that unhealthy eating habits among kids – like skipping meals in favour of watching TV and snacking – lead them to an unhealthy result: obesity.

Results of the study could be beneficial for countries grappling with childhood obesity problems. In Malaysia, nearly half of the population is overweight, according to a recent report.

Statistics that now show over-nutrition as a health concern has worried authorities given that not too long ago, their problem was under-nutrition.

Childhood obesity is likewise a concern in Singapore, and this is mainly due to the excessive calorie consumption and inadequate physical activities among the young. MIMS