Research

Snacking quality may decline as kids age

The age-related dietary effect of snacks

Snacks are a significant positive contributor to dietary quality among school-age children. Not so among teenagers — possibly because younger children are more dependent on parents and caregivers and have better snacks while adolescents make their own choices. Credit: David Orenstein/Brown University

A new study done by researchers at Brown University and Tufts University suggests that while snacks uniformly contribute to energy intake in both children and adolescents, the effect of snacking on dietary quality differs by age group. Findings suggest that snacks improve diet quality in elementary school children but detract from diet quality in adolescents.