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Special Issue "Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Sibylle Kranz

Associate Professor and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Department of Kinesiology, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, 117 Memorial Gymnasium, PO Box 400407, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA
E-Mail
Phone: (434) 924-7904

Special Issue Information


Dear Colleagues,

Dietary intake in children is not only associated with current and future health, but also with behavior and learning. Especially during early childhood throughout the school-age years, adequate food and nutrient intake to support brain development and function are critical. Furthermore, data on the effect of sugar intake on children’s activity levels, or their ability to focus on cognitive tasks, are mixed. More research in nutrition and children’s behavior is needed: How does behavior affect children’s nutrition? and how nutrition affect children’s behavior?

Dr. Sibylle Kranz
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • dietary intake
  • behavior
  • eating behavior
  • pediatric nutrition
  • nutrition
  • cognitive functioning

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Snacking Quality Is Associated with Secondary School Academic Achievement and the Intention to Enroll in Higher Education: A Cross-Sectional Study in Adolescents from Santiago, Chile
Nutrients 2017, 9(5), 433; doi:10.3390/nu9050433
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 20 April 2017 / Accepted: 24 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
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Abstract
Although numerous studies have approached the effects of exposure to a Western diet (WD) on academic outcomes, very few have focused on foods consumed during snack times. We explored whether there is a link between nutritious snacking habits and academic achievement in high
[...] Read more.
Although numerous studies have approached the effects of exposure to a Western diet (WD) on academic outcomes, very few have focused on foods consumed during snack times. We explored whether there is a link between nutritious snacking habits and academic achievement in high school (HS) students from Santiago, Chile. We conducted a cross-sectional study with 678 adolescents. The nutritional quality of snacks consumed by 16-year-old was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire. The academic outcomes measured were HS grade point average (GPA), the likelihood of HS completion, and the likelihood of taking college entrance exams. A multivariate analysis was performed to determine the independent associations of nutritious snacking with having completed HS and having taken college entrance exams. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) estimated the differences in GPA by the quality of snacks. Compared to students with healthy in-home snacking behaviors, adolescents having unhealthy in-home snacks had significantly lower GPAs (M difference: −40.1 points, 95% confidence interval (CI): −59.2, −16.9, d = 0.41), significantly lower odds of HS completion (adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 0.47; 95% CI: 0.25–0.88), and significantly lower odds of taking college entrance exams (aOR: 0.53; 95% CI: 0.31–0.88). Unhealthy at-school snacking showed similar associations with the outcome variables. Poor nutritional quality snacking at school and at home was associated with poor secondary school academic achievement and the intention to enroll in higher education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children)
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Open AccessArticle Intake Levels of Fish in the UK Paediatric Population
Nutrients 2017, 9(4), 392; doi:10.3390/nu9040392
Received: 6 February 2017 / Revised: 31 March 2017 / Accepted: 1 April 2017 / Published: 16 April 2017
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Abstract
The United Kingdom (UK) is an island and its culture, including diet, is heavily influenced by the maritime resources. Dietary guidance in the UK recommends intake of fish, which provides important nutrients, such as long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA).
[...] Read more.
The United Kingdom (UK) is an island and its culture, including diet, is heavily influenced by the maritime resources. Dietary guidance in the UK recommends intake of fish, which provides important nutrients, such as long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA). This study was designed to describe the fish intake habits of UK children using a nationally representative sample. Dietary and socio-demographic data of children 2–18 (N = 2096) in the National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling Program (NDNS) Years 1–4 (2008–2012) were extracted. Average nutrient and food intakes were estimated. Logistic regression models were used to predict the meeting of fish intake recommendations, controlling for age, sex, income, total energy intake, and survey year. All analyses were conducted using survey routines and dietary survey weights. In this nationally representative study, 4.7% of children met the fish and 4.5% the oily fish intake recommendations; only 1.3% of the population met both recommendations. Fish intake levels did not significantly change with children’s increasing age. Higher vegetable but lower meat consumption predicted meeting the fish intake recommendations, indicating that children eating fish have better diet quality than non-consumers. Further research is needed to explore how intake behaviours can be changed to improve children’s diet quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children)
Open AccessArticle Prevalence and Correlates of Preschool Overweight and Obesity Amidst the Nutrition Transition: Findings from a National Cross-Sectional Study in Lebanon
Nutrients 2017, 9(3), 266; doi:10.3390/nu9030266
Received: 17 January 2017 / Revised: 8 February 2017 / Accepted: 13 February 2017 / Published: 11 March 2017
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Abstract
There is increasing evidence linking early life adiposity to disease risk later in life. This study aims at determining the prevalence and correlates of overweight and obesity among preschoolers in Lebanon. A national cross-sectional survey was conducted amongst 2–5 years old children (
[...] Read more.
There is increasing evidence linking early life adiposity to disease risk later in life. This study aims at determining the prevalence and correlates of overweight and obesity among preschoolers in Lebanon. A national cross-sectional survey was conducted amongst 2–5 years old children (n = 525). Socio-demographic, lifestyle, dietary, and anthropometric data were obtained. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was estimated at 6.5% and 2.7%, respectively. Based on stepwise logistic regression for the prediction of overweight and obesity (combined), the variance accounted for by the first block (socioeconomic, parental characteristics) was 11.9%, with higher father’s education (OR = 5.31, 95% CI: 1.04–27.26) and the presence of household helper (OR = 2.19, 95% CI: 1.05–4.56) being significant predictors. The second block of variables (eating habits) significantly improved the prediction of overweight/obesity to reach 21%, with eating in front of the television (OR = 1.07, 95% CI: 1.02–1.13) and satiety responsiveness (OR = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.70–0.99) being significantly associated with overweight/obesity. In the third block, fat intake remained a significant predictor of overweight/obesity (OR = 2.31, 95% CI: 1.13–4.75). This study identified specific risk factors for preschool overweight/obesity in Lebanon and characterized children from high socioeconomic backgrounds as important target groups for preventive interventions. These findings may be of significance to other middle-income countries in similar stages of nutrition transition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children)
Open AccessArticle Micronutrient‐Fortified Milk and Academic  Performance among Chinese Middle School Students:  A Cluster‐Randomized Controlled Trial
Nutrients 2017, 9(3), 226; doi:10.3390/nu9030226
Received: 13 January 2017 / Accepted: 28 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
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Abstract
Many children suffer from nutritional deficiencies that may negatively affect their academic performance. This cluster‐randomized controlled trial aimed to test the effects of micronutrient‐fortified milk in Chinese students. Participants received either micronutrient‐fortified (n = 177) or unfortified (n = 183) milk for six
[...] Read more.
Many children suffer from nutritional deficiencies that may negatively affect their academic performance. This cluster‐randomized controlled trial aimed to test the effects of micronutrient‐fortified milk in Chinese students. Participants received either micronutrient‐fortified (n = 177) or unfortified (n = 183) milk for six months. Academic performance, motivation, and learning strategies were estimated by end‐of‐term tests and the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire. Blood samples were analyzed for micronutrients. In total, 296 students (82.2%) completed this study. Compared with the control group, students in the intervention group reported higher scores in several academic subjects (p < 0.05), including languages, mathematics, ethics, and physical performance at the end of follow‐up. Students in the intervention group showed greater self‐efficacy and use of cognitive strategies in learning, and reported less test anxiety (p < 0.001). Moreover, vitamin B2 deficiency (odds ratio (OR) = 0.18, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.11~0.30) and iron deficiency (OR = 0.34, 95% CI: 0.14~0.81) were less likely in the students of the intervention group, whereas vitamin D, vitamin B12, and selenium deficiencies were not significantly different. “Cognitive strategy” had a partial mediating effect on the test scores of English (95% CI: 1.26~3.79) and Chinese (95% CI: 0.53~2.21). Our findings suggest that micronutrient‐fortified milk may improve students’ academic performance, motivation, and learning strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children)
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Open AccessArticle Dietary Patterns of European Children and Their Parents in Association with Family Food Environment: Results from the I.Family Study
Nutrients 2017, 9(2), 126; doi:10.3390/nu9020126
Received: 18 November 2016 / Accepted: 3 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine whether an association exists between children’s and parental dietary patterns (DP), and whether the number of shared meals or soft drink availability during meals strengthens this association. In 2013/2014 the I.Family study cross‐sectionally assessed the
[...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine whether an association exists between children’s and parental dietary patterns (DP), and whether the number of shared meals or soft drink availability during meals strengthens this association. In 2013/2014 the I.Family study cross‐sectionally assessed the dietary intakes of families from eight European countries using 24‐h dietary recalls. Usual energy and food intakes from six‐ to 16‐year‐old children and their parents were estimated based on the NCI Method. A total of 1662 child–mother and 789 child–father dyads were included; DP were derived using cluster analysis. We investigated the association between children’s and parental DP and whether the number of shared meals or soft drink availability moderated this association using mixed effects logistic regression models. Three DP comparable in children and parents were obtained: Sweet & Fat, Refined Cereals, and Animal Products. Children were more likely to be allocated to the Sweet & Fat DP when their fathers were allocated to the Sweet & Fat DP and when they shared at least one meal per day (OR 3.18; 95% CI 1.84; 5.47). Being allocated to the Sweet & Fat DP increased when the mother or the father was allocated to the Sweet & Fat DP and when soft drinks were available (OR 2.78; 95% CI 1.80; 4.28 or OR 4.26; 95% CI 2.16; 8.41, respectively). Availability of soft drinks and negative parental role modeling are important predictors of children’s dietary patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children)
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Open AccessArticle Which Diet-Related Behaviors in Childhood Influence a Healthier Dietary Pattern? From the Ewha Birth and Growth Cohort
Nutrients 2017, 9(1), 4; doi:10.3390/nu9010004
Received: 19 September 2016 / Revised: 7 December 2016 / Accepted: 15 December 2016 / Published: 23 December 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (442 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This study was performed to examine how childhood dietary patterns change over the short term and which changes in diet-related behaviors influence later changes in individual dietary patterns. Using food frequency questionnaire data obtained from children at 7 and 9 years of age
[...] Read more.
This study was performed to examine how childhood dietary patterns change over the short term and which changes in diet-related behaviors influence later changes in individual dietary patterns. Using food frequency questionnaire data obtained from children at 7 and 9 years of age from the Ewha Birth and Growth Cohort, we examined dietary patterns by principal component analysis. We calculated the individual changes in dietary pattern scores. Changes in dietary habits such as eating a variety of food over two years were defined as “increased”, “stable”, or “decreased”. The dietary patterns, termed “healthy intake”, “animal food intake”, and “snack intake”, were similar at 7 and 9 years of age. These patterns explained 32.3% and 39.1% of total variation at the ages of 7 and 9 years, respectively. The tracking coefficient of snack intake had the highest coefficient (γ = 0.53) and that of animal food intake had the lowest (γ = 0.21). Intra-individual stability in dietary habits ranged from 0.23 to 0.47, based on the sex-adjusted weighted kappa values. Of the various behavioral factors, eating breakfast every day was most common in the “stable” group (83.1%), whereas consuming milk or dairy products every day was the least common (49.0%). Moreover, changes in behavior that improved the consumption of milk or dairy products or encouraged the consumption of vegetables with every meal had favorable effects on changes in healthy dietary pattern scores over two years. However, those with worsened habits, such as less food variety and more than two portions of fried or stir-fried food every week, had unfavorable effects on changes in healthy dietary pattern scores. Our results suggest that diet-related behaviors can change, even over a short period, and these changes can affect changes in dietary pattern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Relationship between Long Chain n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Case-Control and Randomised Controlled Trials
Nutrients 2017, 9(2), 155; doi:10.3390/nu9020155
Received: 9 December 2016 / Revised: 8 February 2017 / Accepted: 13 February 2017 / Published: 19 February 2017
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Abstract
Omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation (n-3 LCPUFA) for treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is popular. The results of previous systematic reviews and meta-analyses of n-3 LCPUFA supplementation on ASD outcomes were inconclusive. Two meta-analyses were conducted; meta-analysis
[...] Read more.
Omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation (n-3 LCPUFA) for treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is popular. The results of previous systematic reviews and meta-analyses of n-3 LCPUFA supplementation on ASD outcomes were inconclusive. Two meta-analyses were conducted; meta-analysis 1 compared blood levels of LCPUFA and their ratios arachidonic acid (ARA) to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), ARA to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), or total n-6 to total n-3 LCPUFA in ASD to those of typically developing individuals (with no neurodevelopmental disorders), and meta-analysis 2 compared the effects of n-3 LCPUFA supplementation to placebo on symptoms of ASD. Case-control studies and randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were identified searching electronic databases up to May, 2016. Mean differences were pooled and analysed using inverse variance models. Heterogeneity was assessed using I2 statistic. Fifteen case-control studies (n = 1193) were reviewed. Compared with typically developed, ASD populations had lower DHA (−2.14 [95% CI −3.22 to −1.07]; p < 0.0001; I2 = 97%), EPA (−0.72 [95% CI −1.25 to −0.18]; p = 0.008; I2 = 88%), and ARA (−0.83 [95% CI, −1.48 to −0.17]; p = 0.01; I2 = 96%) and higher total n-6 LCPUFA to n-3 LCPUFA ratio (0.42 [95% CI 0.06 to 0.78]; p = 0.02; I2 = 74%). Four RCTs were included in meta-analysis 2 (n = 107). Compared with placebo, n-3 LCPUFA improved social interaction (−1.96 [95% CI −3.5 to −0.34]; p = 0.02; I2 = 0) and repetitive and restricted interests and behaviours (−1.08 [95% CI −2.17 to −0.01]; p = 0.05; I2 = 0). Populations with ASD have lower n-3 LCPUFA status and n-3 LCPUFA supplementation can potentially improve some ASD symptoms. Further research with large sample size and adequate study duration is warranted to confirm the efficacy of n-3 LCPUFA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children)
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