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Children Who Eat High-Fat Foods Might See Effects in Their Mental Health

Children Who Eat High-Fat Foods Might See Effects in Their Mental Health

A new study suggests that children who eat fatty foods may experience a lower level of cognitive flexibility

When children eat fatty foods, such as fast food burgers, it lowers their cognitive flexibility.

We recently reported that salt levels in children’s fast food meals are dangerously high. Now, new evidence suggests that kids should be careful about how much fat they consume because it could affect their mental health.

A study published in the journal Appetite examined the correlation between high-fat diets and children’s cognitive development. The authors of the article are professors from the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The researchers studied the behavior of children between 7 and 10 years old. The children, whose diets were monitored, were given a test asking them to select the correct shape or color as it was changing its form. Those who consumed a diet with more fat showed a lower level of cognitive flexibility.

“Cognitive flexibility is important because it comprises the ability to switch perspectives in daily life,” the authors note in the article.

The results also suggest that the children who were more physically active performed better on the test.


Poor Nutrition

CDC works to reduce the four main risk factors for preventable chronic diseases: tobacco use, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and excessive alcohol use.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Good nutrition is essential for keeping Americans healthy across the lifespan. A healthy diet helps children grow and develop properly and reduces their risk of chronic diseases, including obesity. Adults who eat a healthy diet live longer and have a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Healthy eating can help people with chronic diseases manage these conditions and prevent complications.

Most Americans, however, do not have a healthy diet. Although breastfeeding is the ideal source of nutrition for infants, only 1 in 4 is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age as recommended. Fewer than 1 in 10 adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables, and 9 in 10 Americans aged 2 years or older consume more than the recommended amount of sodium.

In addition, 6 in 10 young people aged 2 to 19 years and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day. Processed foods and sugary drinks add unneeded sodium, saturated fats, and sugar to many diets, increasing the risk of chronic diseases.

CDC supports breastfeeding and healthier food and drink choices in settings such as early care and education facilities, schools, worksites, and communities.

The Harmful Effects of Poor Nutrition

Overweight and Obesity

Eating a healthy diet, along with getting enough physical activity and sleep, can help children grow up healthy and prevent overweight and obesity. In the United States, 19% of young people aged 2 to 19 years and 40% of adults have obesity, which can put them at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. In addition, obesity costs the US health care system $147 billion a year.


Poor Nutrition

CDC works to reduce the four main risk factors for preventable chronic diseases: tobacco use, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and excessive alcohol use.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Good nutrition is essential for keeping Americans healthy across the lifespan. A healthy diet helps children grow and develop properly and reduces their risk of chronic diseases, including obesity. Adults who eat a healthy diet live longer and have a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Healthy eating can help people with chronic diseases manage these conditions and prevent complications.

Most Americans, however, do not have a healthy diet. Although breastfeeding is the ideal source of nutrition for infants, only 1 in 4 is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age as recommended. Fewer than 1 in 10 adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables, and 9 in 10 Americans aged 2 years or older consume more than the recommended amount of sodium.

In addition, 6 in 10 young people aged 2 to 19 years and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day. Processed foods and sugary drinks add unneeded sodium, saturated fats, and sugar to many diets, increasing the risk of chronic diseases.

CDC supports breastfeeding and healthier food and drink choices in settings such as early care and education facilities, schools, worksites, and communities.

The Harmful Effects of Poor Nutrition

Overweight and Obesity

Eating a healthy diet, along with getting enough physical activity and sleep, can help children grow up healthy and prevent overweight and obesity. In the United States, 19% of young people aged 2 to 19 years and 40% of adults have obesity, which can put them at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. In addition, obesity costs the US health care system $147 billion a year.


Poor Nutrition

CDC works to reduce the four main risk factors for preventable chronic diseases: tobacco use, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and excessive alcohol use.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Good nutrition is essential for keeping Americans healthy across the lifespan. A healthy diet helps children grow and develop properly and reduces their risk of chronic diseases, including obesity. Adults who eat a healthy diet live longer and have a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Healthy eating can help people with chronic diseases manage these conditions and prevent complications.

Most Americans, however, do not have a healthy diet. Although breastfeeding is the ideal source of nutrition for infants, only 1 in 4 is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age as recommended. Fewer than 1 in 10 adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables, and 9 in 10 Americans aged 2 years or older consume more than the recommended amount of sodium.

In addition, 6 in 10 young people aged 2 to 19 years and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day. Processed foods and sugary drinks add unneeded sodium, saturated fats, and sugar to many diets, increasing the risk of chronic diseases.

CDC supports breastfeeding and healthier food and drink choices in settings such as early care and education facilities, schools, worksites, and communities.

The Harmful Effects of Poor Nutrition

Overweight and Obesity

Eating a healthy diet, along with getting enough physical activity and sleep, can help children grow up healthy and prevent overweight and obesity. In the United States, 19% of young people aged 2 to 19 years and 40% of adults have obesity, which can put them at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. In addition, obesity costs the US health care system $147 billion a year.


Poor Nutrition

CDC works to reduce the four main risk factors for preventable chronic diseases: tobacco use, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and excessive alcohol use.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Good nutrition is essential for keeping Americans healthy across the lifespan. A healthy diet helps children grow and develop properly and reduces their risk of chronic diseases, including obesity. Adults who eat a healthy diet live longer and have a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Healthy eating can help people with chronic diseases manage these conditions and prevent complications.

Most Americans, however, do not have a healthy diet. Although breastfeeding is the ideal source of nutrition for infants, only 1 in 4 is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age as recommended. Fewer than 1 in 10 adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables, and 9 in 10 Americans aged 2 years or older consume more than the recommended amount of sodium.

In addition, 6 in 10 young people aged 2 to 19 years and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day. Processed foods and sugary drinks add unneeded sodium, saturated fats, and sugar to many diets, increasing the risk of chronic diseases.

CDC supports breastfeeding and healthier food and drink choices in settings such as early care and education facilities, schools, worksites, and communities.

The Harmful Effects of Poor Nutrition

Overweight and Obesity

Eating a healthy diet, along with getting enough physical activity and sleep, can help children grow up healthy and prevent overweight and obesity. In the United States, 19% of young people aged 2 to 19 years and 40% of adults have obesity, which can put them at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. In addition, obesity costs the US health care system $147 billion a year.


Poor Nutrition

CDC works to reduce the four main risk factors for preventable chronic diseases: tobacco use, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and excessive alcohol use.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Good nutrition is essential for keeping Americans healthy across the lifespan. A healthy diet helps children grow and develop properly and reduces their risk of chronic diseases, including obesity. Adults who eat a healthy diet live longer and have a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Healthy eating can help people with chronic diseases manage these conditions and prevent complications.

Most Americans, however, do not have a healthy diet. Although breastfeeding is the ideal source of nutrition for infants, only 1 in 4 is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age as recommended. Fewer than 1 in 10 adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables, and 9 in 10 Americans aged 2 years or older consume more than the recommended amount of sodium.

In addition, 6 in 10 young people aged 2 to 19 years and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day. Processed foods and sugary drinks add unneeded sodium, saturated fats, and sugar to many diets, increasing the risk of chronic diseases.

CDC supports breastfeeding and healthier food and drink choices in settings such as early care and education facilities, schools, worksites, and communities.

The Harmful Effects of Poor Nutrition

Overweight and Obesity

Eating a healthy diet, along with getting enough physical activity and sleep, can help children grow up healthy and prevent overweight and obesity. In the United States, 19% of young people aged 2 to 19 years and 40% of adults have obesity, which can put them at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. In addition, obesity costs the US health care system $147 billion a year.


Poor Nutrition

CDC works to reduce the four main risk factors for preventable chronic diseases: tobacco use, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and excessive alcohol use.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Good nutrition is essential for keeping Americans healthy across the lifespan. A healthy diet helps children grow and develop properly and reduces their risk of chronic diseases, including obesity. Adults who eat a healthy diet live longer and have a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Healthy eating can help people with chronic diseases manage these conditions and prevent complications.

Most Americans, however, do not have a healthy diet. Although breastfeeding is the ideal source of nutrition for infants, only 1 in 4 is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age as recommended. Fewer than 1 in 10 adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables, and 9 in 10 Americans aged 2 years or older consume more than the recommended amount of sodium.

In addition, 6 in 10 young people aged 2 to 19 years and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day. Processed foods and sugary drinks add unneeded sodium, saturated fats, and sugar to many diets, increasing the risk of chronic diseases.

CDC supports breastfeeding and healthier food and drink choices in settings such as early care and education facilities, schools, worksites, and communities.

The Harmful Effects of Poor Nutrition

Overweight and Obesity

Eating a healthy diet, along with getting enough physical activity and sleep, can help children grow up healthy and prevent overweight and obesity. In the United States, 19% of young people aged 2 to 19 years and 40% of adults have obesity, which can put them at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. In addition, obesity costs the US health care system $147 billion a year.


Poor Nutrition

CDC works to reduce the four main risk factors for preventable chronic diseases: tobacco use, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and excessive alcohol use.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Good nutrition is essential for keeping Americans healthy across the lifespan. A healthy diet helps children grow and develop properly and reduces their risk of chronic diseases, including obesity. Adults who eat a healthy diet live longer and have a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Healthy eating can help people with chronic diseases manage these conditions and prevent complications.

Most Americans, however, do not have a healthy diet. Although breastfeeding is the ideal source of nutrition for infants, only 1 in 4 is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age as recommended. Fewer than 1 in 10 adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables, and 9 in 10 Americans aged 2 years or older consume more than the recommended amount of sodium.

In addition, 6 in 10 young people aged 2 to 19 years and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day. Processed foods and sugary drinks add unneeded sodium, saturated fats, and sugar to many diets, increasing the risk of chronic diseases.

CDC supports breastfeeding and healthier food and drink choices in settings such as early care and education facilities, schools, worksites, and communities.

The Harmful Effects of Poor Nutrition

Overweight and Obesity

Eating a healthy diet, along with getting enough physical activity and sleep, can help children grow up healthy and prevent overweight and obesity. In the United States, 19% of young people aged 2 to 19 years and 40% of adults have obesity, which can put them at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. In addition, obesity costs the US health care system $147 billion a year.


Poor Nutrition

CDC works to reduce the four main risk factors for preventable chronic diseases: tobacco use, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and excessive alcohol use.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Good nutrition is essential for keeping Americans healthy across the lifespan. A healthy diet helps children grow and develop properly and reduces their risk of chronic diseases, including obesity. Adults who eat a healthy diet live longer and have a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Healthy eating can help people with chronic diseases manage these conditions and prevent complications.

Most Americans, however, do not have a healthy diet. Although breastfeeding is the ideal source of nutrition for infants, only 1 in 4 is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age as recommended. Fewer than 1 in 10 adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables, and 9 in 10 Americans aged 2 years or older consume more than the recommended amount of sodium.

In addition, 6 in 10 young people aged 2 to 19 years and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day. Processed foods and sugary drinks add unneeded sodium, saturated fats, and sugar to many diets, increasing the risk of chronic diseases.

CDC supports breastfeeding and healthier food and drink choices in settings such as early care and education facilities, schools, worksites, and communities.

The Harmful Effects of Poor Nutrition

Overweight and Obesity

Eating a healthy diet, along with getting enough physical activity and sleep, can help children grow up healthy and prevent overweight and obesity. In the United States, 19% of young people aged 2 to 19 years and 40% of adults have obesity, which can put them at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. In addition, obesity costs the US health care system $147 billion a year.


Poor Nutrition

CDC works to reduce the four main risk factors for preventable chronic diseases: tobacco use, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and excessive alcohol use.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Good nutrition is essential for keeping Americans healthy across the lifespan. A healthy diet helps children grow and develop properly and reduces their risk of chronic diseases, including obesity. Adults who eat a healthy diet live longer and have a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Healthy eating can help people with chronic diseases manage these conditions and prevent complications.

Most Americans, however, do not have a healthy diet. Although breastfeeding is the ideal source of nutrition for infants, only 1 in 4 is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age as recommended. Fewer than 1 in 10 adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables, and 9 in 10 Americans aged 2 years or older consume more than the recommended amount of sodium.

In addition, 6 in 10 young people aged 2 to 19 years and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day. Processed foods and sugary drinks add unneeded sodium, saturated fats, and sugar to many diets, increasing the risk of chronic diseases.

CDC supports breastfeeding and healthier food and drink choices in settings such as early care and education facilities, schools, worksites, and communities.

The Harmful Effects of Poor Nutrition

Overweight and Obesity

Eating a healthy diet, along with getting enough physical activity and sleep, can help children grow up healthy and prevent overweight and obesity. In the United States, 19% of young people aged 2 to 19 years and 40% of adults have obesity, which can put them at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. In addition, obesity costs the US health care system $147 billion a year.


Poor Nutrition

CDC works to reduce the four main risk factors for preventable chronic diseases: tobacco use, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and excessive alcohol use.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Fast Facts

  • 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • 14% of children aged 1 to 2 years and 16% of pregnant women are iron deficient.
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 US adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • 6 in 10 young people and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day.
  • US diets are high in added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020&ndash2025 external icon provides information on healthy eating patterns for Americans at every stage of life, from birth through older adulthood.
  • CDC works to increase healthy food options in early care and education facilities, schools, workplaces, and communities.

Good nutrition is essential for keeping Americans healthy across the lifespan. A healthy diet helps children grow and develop properly and reduces their risk of chronic diseases, including obesity. Adults who eat a healthy diet live longer and have a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Healthy eating can help people with chronic diseases manage these conditions and prevent complications.

Most Americans, however, do not have a healthy diet. Although breastfeeding is the ideal source of nutrition for infants, only 1 in 4 is exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age as recommended. Fewer than 1 in 10 adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables, and 9 in 10 Americans aged 2 years or older consume more than the recommended amount of sodium.

In addition, 6 in 10 young people aged 2 to 19 years and 5 in 10 adults consume a sugary drink on a given day. Processed foods and sugary drinks add unneeded sodium, saturated fats, and sugar to many diets, increasing the risk of chronic diseases.

CDC supports breastfeeding and healthier food and drink choices in settings such as early care and education facilities, schools, worksites, and communities.

The Harmful Effects of Poor Nutrition

Overweight and Obesity

Eating a healthy diet, along with getting enough physical activity and sleep, can help children grow up healthy and prevent overweight and obesity. In the United States, 19% of young people aged 2 to 19 years and 40% of adults have obesity, which can put them at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. In addition, obesity costs the US health care system $147 billion a year.