Links between childhood diet, tooth decay and obesity

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Dr Narendar Manohar from Western Sydney University, will conduct an important study which aims to improve the quality of life of disadvantaged Australian families.

Dr Manohar says existing evidence clearly indicates that children from low socio-economic backgrounds are most vulnerable to poor dietary behaviours and chronic diseases.

“Feeding behaviours in the first years of a child’s life set the stage for their nutritional preferences in later life. These behaviours not only impact a child’s overall physical health, but also have a holistic effect on a child’s socialisation, schooling, and overall growth and development,” says Dr Manohar.

Dr Manohar says the study will investigate the links between any dietary changes in preschool children from low socio-economic backgrounds, and the instances of obesity and dental decay. The findings could have significant effects on Australian health policies, and will inform government on oral health promotion and obesity prevention strategies.

“The scholarship will assist in addressing some of the knowledge gaps of how dietary behaviours transform with age and what impacts they have on obesity and the dental decay status of children,” says Dr Manohar.

The NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarships scheme aims to support outstanding health and medical graduates early in their career, so they can be trained to conduct research that is internationally competitive and develop a capacity for original independent research within Australia.

“I’m hoping the study will determine whether the feeding practices of infants throughout their early development complies with existing Australian Dietary guidelines.”

To ensure an in-depth investigation, feeding patterns will be monitored including sugar and non-sugar based diet routines to correlate these factors to obesity and dental decay.

(Source: Western Sydney University)

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Date Created: June 13, 2017 Date Modified: July 4, 2017