Children who are encouraged to eat a low-fat, high-fibre diet have a reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease in adulthood. A study tested adult women, some of whom were given good healthy eating habits by their parents, for disease risk factors.
They found those with good nutritional knowledge had less high blood pressure and better blood sugar balance, compared to a control group who had had a more Western, high-fat childhood diet.
"Few participants in our follow-up study met the criteria for metabolic syndrome, however the intervention group had statistically significant lower mean systolic blood pressure and fasting plasma glucose levels compared to the control group," said Joanne Dorgan, PhD, of Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, who led the study.
The women who came out healthiest in the study had learned to limit fat intake to 28% of daily caloric intake and ate more fruits, vegetables and whole grains than the control group, boosting their fibre intake.
The research was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Obesity, diabetes and heart disease are growing problems in the UK and it seems the key to cutting deaths is to encourage good nutrition from childhood onwards.