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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

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Keywords

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

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Open AccessArticle A Socio-Ecological Examination of Weight-Related Characteristics of the Home Environment and Lifestyles of Households with Young Children
Nutrients 2017, 9(6), 604; doi:10.3390/nu9060604
Received: 23 April 2017 / Revised: 8 June 2017 / Accepted: 9 June 2017 / Published: 14 June 2017
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Abstract
Home environment and family lifestyle practices have an influence on child obesity risk, thereby making it critical to systematically examine these factors. Thus, parents (n = 489) of preschool children completed a cross-sectional online survey which was the baseline data collection conducted,
[...] Read more.
Home environment and family lifestyle practices have an influence on child obesity risk, thereby making it critical to systematically examine these factors. Thus, parents (n = 489) of preschool children completed a cross-sectional online survey which was the baseline data collection conducted, before randomization, in the HomeStyles program. The survey comprehensively assessed these factors using a socio-ecological approach, incorporating intrapersonal, interpersonal and environmental measures. Healthy intrapersonal dietary behaviors identified were parent and child intakes of recommended amounts of 100% juice and low intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages. Unhealthy behaviors included low milk intake and high parent fat intake. The home environment’s food supply was found to support healthy intakes of 100% juice and sugar-sweetened beverages, but provided too little milk and ample quantities of salty/fatty snacks. Physical activity levels, sedentary activity and the home’s physical activity and media environment were found to be less than ideal. Environmental supports for active play inside homes were moderate and somewhat better in the area immediately outside homes and in the neighborhood. Family interpersonal interaction measures revealed several positive behaviors, including frequent family meals. Parents had considerable self-efficacy in their ability to perform food- and physical activity-related childhood obesity protective practices. This study identified lifestyle practices and home environment characteristics that health educators could target to help parents promote optimal child development and lower their children’s risk for obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children)
Open AccessArticle Food and Nutrients Intake in the School Lunch Program among School Children in Shanghai, China
Nutrients 2017, 9(6), 582; doi:10.3390/nu9060582
Received: 9 April 2017 / Revised: 29 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 7 June 2017
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Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the intake of food and nutrients among primary, middle, and high schools students in Shanghai, and provide recommendations for possible amendments in new school lunch standards of Shanghai. Twenty schools were included in the school lunch menu survey.
[...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the intake of food and nutrients among primary, middle, and high schools students in Shanghai, and provide recommendations for possible amendments in new school lunch standards of Shanghai. Twenty schools were included in the school lunch menu survey. Of those, seven schools enrolled 5389 students and conducted physical measurement of plate waste and a questionnaire survey. The amount of food and nutrients was compared according to the new China National Dietary Guideline for School Children (2016) and Chinese Dietary Reference Intakes (2013). The provision of livestock and poultry meat in menus was almost 5–8 times the recommended amount. The amount of seafood was less than the recommended amount, and mostly came from half-processed food. The average percentage of energy from fat was more than 30% in students of all grades. The greatest amount of food wasted was vegetables with 53%, 42%, and 31%, respectively, among primary, middle and high school students. Intake of Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, calcium, and iron was about 50% of the recommended proportion. Only 24.0% students were satisfied with the taste of school lunches. Higher proportions of livestock and poultry meat and low intake of vegetables have become integral problems in school lunch programs. Additionally, more attention needs to be paid to the serving size in primary schools with five age groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children)
Open AccessArticle Weight Status Is Related with Gender and Sleep Duration but Not with Dietary Habits and Physical Activity in Primary School Italian Children
Nutrients 2017, 9(6), 579; doi:10.3390/nu9060579
Received: 30 April 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
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Abstract
The prevalence of overweight and obesity in children has risen greatly worldwide. Diet and poor physical activity are the two risk factors usually examined, but epidemiological evidence exists suggesting a link between sleep duration and overweight/obesity in children. The aim of this study
[...] Read more.
The prevalence of overweight and obesity in children has risen greatly worldwide. Diet and poor physical activity are the two risk factors usually examined, but epidemiological evidence exists suggesting a link between sleep duration and overweight/obesity in children. The aim of this study was to describe the relationship among body mass index (BMI), diet quality, physical activity level, and sleep duration in 690 children attending the 5th grade in primary schools (9–11 years old) in the city of Parma (Italy) involved in the Giocampus educational program. This was achieved through (i) measuring anthropometric data to compute body mass index; (ii) administering a food questionnaire to evaluate adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (KIDMED score); and (iii) administering a lifestyle questionnaire to classify children physical activity level (PAL), sleep duration, and school achievement. A highly significant negative association was found between BMI and sleep hours. Moreover, there was a significant positive association between PAL and KIDMED scores. No evidence was found of association between BMI and PAL, nor between BMI and KIDMED score. Data from this study established that BMI is correlated to gender and sleep duration, defining sleep habits as one of the factors linked to overweight and obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children)
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Open AccessArticle Parents’ Qualitative Perspectives on Child Asking for Fruit and Vegetables
Nutrients 2017, 9(6), 575; doi:10.3390/nu9060575
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 10 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 5 June 2017
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Abstract
Children can influence the foods available at home, but some ways of approaching a parent may be better than others; and the best way may vary by type of parent. This study explored how parents with different parenting styles would best receive their
[...] Read more.
Children can influence the foods available at home, but some ways of approaching a parent may be better than others; and the best way may vary by type of parent. This study explored how parents with different parenting styles would best receive their 10 to 14 years old child asking for fruits and vegetables (FV). An online parenting style questionnaire was completed and follow-up qualitative telephone interviews assessed home food rules, child influence on home food availability, parents’ preferences for being asked for food, and common barriers and reactions to their child’s FV requests. Parents (n = 73) with a 10 to 14 years old child were grouped into authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, or uninvolved parenting style categories based on responses to questionnaires, and interviewed. Almost no differences in responses were detected by parenting style or ethnicity. Parents reported their children had a voice in what foods were purchased and available at home and were receptive to their child’s asking for FV. The most important child asking characteristic was politeness, especially among authoritarian parents. Other important factors were asking in person, helping in the grocery store, writing requests on the grocery shopping list, and showing information they saw in the media. The barrier raising the most concern was FV cost, but FV quality and safety outside the home environment were also considerations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children)
Open AccessArticle A Polish Study on the Influence of Food Neophobia in Children (10–12 Years Old) on the Intake of Vegetables and Fruits
Nutrients 2017, 9(6), 563; doi:10.3390/nu9060563
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 25 May 2017 / Accepted: 27 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
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Abstract
Adhering to the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables is an important habit that should be inculcated in children, whereas food neophobia is indicated as one of the most important factors creating food preferences that may interfere. The aim of the presented study
[...] Read more.
Adhering to the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables is an important habit that should be inculcated in children, whereas food neophobia is indicated as one of the most important factors creating food preferences that may interfere. The aim of the presented study was to analyze the association between the food neophobia level and the intake of fruits and vegetables in children aged 10–12 years. The study was conducted among a group of 163 children (78 girls and 85 boys). The assessment of the food neophobia level was based on the Food Neophobia Scale (FNS) questionnaire and the assessment of the fruit and vegetable intake was based on the food frequency questionnaire. A negative correlation between the food neophobia level and the vegetable intake was observed both for girls (p = 0.032; R = −0.2432) and for boys (p = 0.004; R = −0.3071), whereas for girls differences in vegetable intake were observed also between various food neophobia categories (p = 0.0144). It may be concluded that children with higher food neophobia level are characterized by lower vegetable intake than children with lower food neophobia level. For fruits and juices of fruits and vegetables, associations with food neophobia level were not observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children)
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Open AccessArticle Advising Consumption of Green Vegetables, Beef, and Full-Fat Dairy Products Has No Adverse Effects on the Lipid Profiles in Children
Nutrients 2017, 9(5), 518; doi:10.3390/nu9050518
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 11 May 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
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Abstract
In children, little is known about lipid profiles and the influence of dietary habits. In the past, we developed a dietary advice for optimizing the immune system, which comprised green vegetables, beef, whole milk, and full-fat butter. However, there are concerns about a
[...] Read more.
In children, little is known about lipid profiles and the influence of dietary habits. In the past, we developed a dietary advice for optimizing the immune system, which comprised green vegetables, beef, whole milk, and full-fat butter. However, there are concerns about a possible negative influence of the full-fat dairy products of the diet on the lipid profile. We investigated the effect of the developed dietary advice on the lipid profile and BMI (body mass index)/BMI-z-score of children. In this retrospective cohort study, we included children aged 1–16 years, of whom a lipid profile was determined in the period between June 2011 and November 2013 in our hospital. Children who adhered to the dietary advice were assigned to the exposed group and the remaining children were assigned to the unexposed group. After following the dietary advice for at least three months, there was a statistically significant reduction in the cholesterol/HDL (high-density lipoproteins) ratio (p < 0.001) and non-HDL-cholesterol (p = 0.044) and a statistically significant increase in the HDL-cholesterol (p = 0.009) in the exposed group, while there was no difference in the BMI and BMI z-scores. The dietary advice has no adverse effect on the lipid profile, BMI, and BMI z-scores in children, but has a significant beneficial effect on the cholesterol/HDL ratio, non-HDL-cholesterol, and the HDL-cholesterol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children)
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Open AccessArticle Food Sources of Energy and Nutrients in Infants, Toddlers, and Young Children from the Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey 2012
Nutrients 2017, 9(5), 494; doi:10.3390/nu9050494
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 8 May 2017 / Published: 13 May 2017
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Abstract
Food sources of nutrients in Mexican children are not well known. To fill the knowledge gap, dietary intake was assessed in 2057 children using a 24-hour dietary recall. All reported foods and beverages were assigned to one of 76 food groups. Percent contribution
[...] Read more.
Food sources of nutrients in Mexican children are not well known. To fill the knowledge gap, dietary intake was assessed in 2057 children using a 24-hour dietary recall. All reported foods and beverages were assigned to one of 76 food groups. Percent contribution of each food group to nutrient intake was estimated for four age groups: 0–5.9, 6–11.9, 12–23.9, and 24–47.9 months. Breast milk, infant formula, and cow’s milk were the top sources of energy and nutrients, especially in younger groups. Among infants aged 6–11.9 months, the top food sources of energy included soups and stews, cookies, fruit, tortillas, eggs and egg dishes, and traditional beverages. The same foods plus sweetened breads, dried beans, and sandwiches and tortas were consumed as the top sources of energy among toddlers and young children. Milk, soups, and stews were the top contributors for all nutrients and tortillas, eggs, and egg dishes were among the top contributors for iron and zinc. This study showed that low nutrient-dense cookies, sweetened breads, and traditional beverages were among the core foods consumed early in life in Mexico. This compromises the intake of more nutritious foods such as vegetables and fortified cereals and increases the risk of obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children)
Open AccessArticle The Association between Parent Diet Quality and Child Dietary Patterns in Nine- to Eleven-Year-Old Children from Dunedin, New Zealand
Nutrients 2017, 9(5), 483; doi:10.3390/nu9050483
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 4 May 2017 / Published: 11 May 2017
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Abstract
Previous research investigating the relationship between parents’ and children’s diets has focused on single foods or nutrients, and not on global diet, which may be more important for good health. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between parental diet
[...] Read more.
Previous research investigating the relationship between parents’ and children’s diets has focused on single foods or nutrients, and not on global diet, which may be more important for good health. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between parental diet quality and child dietary patterns. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 17 primary schools in Dunedin, New Zealand. Information on food consumption and related factors in children and their primary caregiver/parent were collected. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to investigate dietary patterns in children and diet quality index (DQI) scores were calculated in parents. Relationships between parental DQI and child dietary patterns were examined in 401 child-parent pairs using mixed regression models. PCA generated two patterns; ‘Fruit and Vegetables’ and ‘Snacks’. A one unit higher parental DQI score was associated with a 0.03SD (CI: 0.02, 0.04) lower child ‘Snacks’ score. There was no significant relationship between ‘Fruit and Vegetables’ score and parental diet quality. Higher parental diet quality was associated with a lower dietary pattern score in children that was characterised by a lower consumption frequency of confectionery, chocolate, cakes, biscuits and savoury snacks. These results highlight the importance of parental modelling, in terms of their dietary choices, on the diet of children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children)
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Open AccessArticle Association between Picky Eating Behaviors and Nutritional Status in Early Childhood: Performance of a Picky Eating Behavior Questionnaire
Nutrients 2017, 9(5), 463; doi:10.3390/nu9050463
Received: 4 April 2017 / Revised: 30 April 2017 / Accepted: 2 May 2017 / Published: 6 May 2017
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Abstract
Picky eating behaviors are frequently observed in childhood, leading to concern that an unbalanced and inadequate diet will result in unfavorable growth outcomes. However, the association between picky eating behaviors and nutritional status has not been investigated in detail. This study was conducted
[...] Read more.
Picky eating behaviors are frequently observed in childhood, leading to concern that an unbalanced and inadequate diet will result in unfavorable growth outcomes. However, the association between picky eating behaviors and nutritional status has not been investigated in detail. This study was conducted to assess eating behaviors and growth of children aged 1–5 years from the Seoul Metropolitan area. Primary caregivers completed self-administered questionnaires and 3-day diet records. Differences in the nutrient intake and growth indices between picky and non-picky eaters were tested by analysis of covariance. Children “eating small amounts” consumed less energy and micronutrients (with the exception of calcium intake), but picky behaviors related to a “limited variety” resulted in a significant difference regarding nutrient density for some micronutrients. Children with the behavior of “eating small amounts” had a lower weight-for-age than that of non-picky eaters; especially, the older children with the behaviors of “eating small amounts” or “refusal of specific food groups” had lower height-for-age compared with non-picky eaters. These results suggest that specific picky eating behaviors are related to different nutrient intake and unfavorable growth patterns in early childhood. Thus, exploration of potential interventions according to specific aspects of picky eating and their efficacy is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children)
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Open AccessArticle Dietary Patterns among Vietnamese and Hispanic Immigrant Elementary School Children Participating in an After School Program
Nutrients 2017, 9(5), 460; doi:10.3390/nu9050460
Received: 25 February 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 1 May 2017 / Published: 5 May 2017
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Abstract
Immigrants in the U.S. may encounter challenges of acculturation, including dietary habits, as they adapt to new surroundings. We examined Vietnamese and Hispanic immigrant children’s American food consumption patterns in a convenience sample of 63 Vietnamese and Hispanic children in grades four to
[...] Read more.
Immigrants in the U.S. may encounter challenges of acculturation, including dietary habits, as they adapt to new surroundings. We examined Vietnamese and Hispanic immigrant children’s American food consumption patterns in a convenience sample of 63 Vietnamese and Hispanic children in grades four to six who were attending an after school program. Children indicated the number of times they consumed each of 54 different American foods in the past week using a food frequency questionnaire. We ranked each food according to frequency of consumption, compared the intake of foods to the USDA Healthy Eating Pattern, and performed dietary pattern analysis. Since the data were not normally distributed we used two nonparametric tests to evaluate statistical significance: the Kruskal–Wallis tested for significant gender and ethnicity differences and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test evaluated the food consumption of children compared with the USDA recommended amounts. We found that among USDA categories, discretionary food was most commonly consumed, followed by fruit. The sample as a whole ate significantly less than the recommended amount of grains, protein foods, and dairy, but met the recommended amount of fruit. Boys ate significantly more grains, proteins, and fruits than did girls. Dietary pattern analysis showed a very high sweet snack consumption among all children, while boys ate more fast food and fruit than girls. Foods most commonly consumed were cereal, apples, oranges, and yogurt. Ethnicity differences in food selection were not significant. The high intake of discretionary/snack foods and fruit, with low intake of grains, vegetables, protein, and dairy in our sample suggests Vietnamese and Hispanic immigrant children may benefit from programs to improve diet quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Behavior in Children)
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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
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (503 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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 2 | 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
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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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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
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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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