Hyderabad: Low Intake of Omega-3 PUFA in School-going Children

5 Jun, 2021 17:19 IST|Sakshi Post
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In a study undertaken by the city's National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), which involved gathering dietary information on omega-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake among children in Hyderabad, intakes of dietary sources of these important fatty acids were low.

Around 625 youngsters ages 7 to 13 were chosen from five different schools in Hyderabad for the study. The study discovered that school-aged youngsters have a low intake of omega-3 PUFA.

About 80% of youngsters ate fish, but their consumption frequency was low (approximately 100g once a month), and a majority of them ate freshwater fish, with less than 4% eating marine fish, which is a rich source of PUFA.

PUFAs are abundant in marine fish, particularly salmon, mackerel, and sardines, as well as in tiny levels in beef, chicken, and eggs. PUFA-rich foods include flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and certain plant seed oils such as soybean and mustard.

“Despite the fact that the majority of youngsters (96 percent) were non-vegetarians, marine fish consumption was low, according to the study. Walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds were also in short supply,” said Dr. P Devraj, the study's lead author.

“In the Indian context, there is scarcely any such research. Based on these findings, efforts should be made to boost consumption of omega-3 PUFA-rich foods such nuts, oilseeds, fish, and seafood among youngsters to improve cognition, concentration, and behavior,” stated Dr. Hemalatha R, Director of the ICMR-NIN, who directed and supervised the study.

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