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Intakes and adequacy of potentially important nutrients for cognitive development among 5-year-old children in the Seychelles Child Development and Nutrition Study

  • Alison J McAfee (a1), Maria S Mulhern (a1), Emeir M McSorley (a1), Julie MW Wallace (a1), Maxine P Bonham (a2), Jude Faure (a3), Sarah Romain (a3), Christina Esther (a3), Conrad F Shamlaye (a3), Gene E Watson (a4), Gary J Myers (a4), Thomas W Clarkson (a4), Philip W Davidson (a4) and JJ Strain (a1)...
Abstract
AbstractObjective

To assess the nutritional adequacy of Seychellois children in relation to nutrients reported to be important for cognitive development.

Design

Dietary intakes were assessed by 4 d weighed food diaries and analysed using dietary analysis software (WISP version 3·0; Tinuviel Software, UK). Individual nutrient intakes were adjusted to usual intakes and, in order to investigate adequacy, were compared with the UK Estimated Average Requirements for children aged 4–6 years.

Setting

Children 5 years old were followed up as part of the Seychelles Child Development Nutrition Study (SCDNS), located in the high-fish-consuming population of Mahé, Republic of Seychelles.

Subjects

Analysis was carried out on a sample of 229 children (118 boys, 111 girls).

Results

Children consumed a diet of which fortified cereal and milk products contributed the most to nutrient intakes. The majority (≥80 %) of children met requirements for several nutrients important for child development including Fe, folate and Se. Adjusted dietary intakes of Cu, Zn, iodine, niacin and vitamin A were below the Estimated Average Requirement or Recommended Nutrient Intake. Mean adjusted energy intakes (boys 4769 kJ/d (1139·84 kcal/d), girls 4759 kJ/d (1137·43 kcal/d)) were lower than the estimated energy requirement (boys 5104 kJ/d (1220 kcal/d), girls 5042 kJ/d (1205 kcal/d)) for 88 % of boys and 86 % of girls.

Conclusions

Nutrition was adequate for most children within the SCDNS cohort. Low intakes of some nutrients (including Zn, niacin and vitamin A) could reflect nutritional database inaccuracies, but may require further investigation. The study provides valuable information on the adequacy of intakes of nutrients which could affect the growth and development of Seychellois children.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email A.McAfee@ulster.ac.uk
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