ERIC Number: ED463829
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Food for Thought: Children's Diets in the 1990s. Policy Brief.
Gleason, Philip; Suitor, Carol
Since the late 1980s, identifying nutritional problems in children's and adults' diets and developing initiatives to help Americans improve what they eat have received considerable attention. This policy brief summarizes 2 studies of children's nutrition with the objectives of describing the diets of school-age children as of the mid-1990s, examining the relationships between their participation in federal nutrition programs and dietary intake, and examining changes in their intake between 1989-91 and 1994-96. Data were obtained from more than 5,000 children, ages 6 to 18, who completed dietary intake interviews during either period. Regression models were used to estimate the relationship between school meal participation and dietary intake. Among the main findings are that children consumed too much dietary fat and sodium, and a large proportion of their food energy came from added sugars. Most children consumed enough vitamins and minerals, but there were some problem areas, including vitamins A and E, zinc, folate, and magnesium. Children's intake of food groups were consistent with their inadequate intakes of selected vitamins and minerals. Over the study period, trends in dietary intakes were mixed. Despite an increase in food energy intake from the early to mid-1990s, children's vitamin and mineral intakes remained constant, suggesting that calorie increases were driven by an increase in foods/drinks high in added sugars. The school meal programs appeared to have a positive effect on children's consumption of milk, fruit, vegetables, and associated vitamins and minerals. Areas of concern in children's diets are problem nutrients, failure to follow the Food Pyramid, and excessive fat intake. (KB)
Publications Department, Mathematica Policy Research Inc., P.O. Box 2393, Princeton, NJ 08543-2393 (Document no. PR01-12, $2.50). Tel: 609-799-3535; Fax: 609-799-0005; For full text: http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/PDFs/childdiet.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Mathematica Policy Research, Princeton, NJ.