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Food consumption and nutrient intake in Finnish 1–6-year-old children

  • Pipsa Kyttälä (a1) (a2), Maijaliisa Erkkola (a3), Carina Kronberg-Kippilä (a2), Heli Tapanainen (a2), Riitta Veijola (a4), Olli Simell (a5), Mikael Knip (a6) (a7) and Suvi M Virtanen (a1) (a2) (a7)...
Abstract
Objective

To study food consumption and nutrient intake in Finnish children aged 1–6 years and to assess the effect of age and sex on food consumption and nutrient intake.

Design

Cross-sectional samples of children participating in the Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention (DIPP) birth cohort study in Finland.

Subjects

The study population comprised healthy children recruited in the nutrition study within the DIPP study in 1998–2003. Three-day food records (2535 in total) from 1-, 2-, 3-, 4- and 6-year-old children were kept between the years 2003 and 2005.

Results

The energy-adjusted consumption of fruits and berries, cereal products, infant formulas and meat dishes was higher and the consumption of vegetables, salads, breads, dairy products, fat spreads, drinks, sweets and sugar was lower among 1-year-old children than older age groups (P for all <0·05). The mean daily energy intake increased with age and was higher among boys than girls in all age groups, except among the 2-year-olds (P for all <0·05). The diet of the 2–6-year-old children contained too much saturated fat and sucrose, and too little PUFA compared with the current Nordic Nutrition Recommendations. The intakes of most vitamins and minerals met the recommendations. However, the intakes of vitamin D, E and iron fell below the recommended levels. The nutrient density of the diet decreased after the age of 1 year at the time that the children adapted to the regular family diet.

Conclusions

In order to improve the diet of young children, it is essential to evaluate the diet of the whole family.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email pipsa.kyttala@uta.fi
References
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Public Health Nutrition
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