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Socio-economic determinants of selected dietary indicators in British pre-school children

  • Richard G Watt (a1), Joanna Dykes (a1) and Aubrey Sheiham (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1079/PHN2001202
  • Published online: 01 January 2007
Abstract
AbstractObjectives:

To assess the proportion of pre-school children meeting reference nutrient intakes (RNIs) and recommendations for daily intakes of iron, zinc, vitamins C and A, and energy from non-milk extrinsic sugars. To assess whether meeting these five dietary requirements was related to a series of socio-economic variables.

Design:

Secondary analysis of data on daily consumption of foods and drinks from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) of children aged 1.5–4.5 years based on 4-day weighed intakes.

Subjects:

One thousand six hundred and seventy-five British pre-school children aged 1.5–4.5 years in 1993.

Results:

Only 1% of children met all five RNIs/recommendations examined; 76% met only two or fewer. Very few children met the recommendations for intakes of zinc (aged over four years) and non-milk extrinsic sugars (all ages). The number of RNIs/recommendations met was related to measures of socio-economic class. Children from families in Scotland and the North of England, who had a manual head of household and whose mothers had fewest qualifications, met the least number of RNIs/recommendations.

Conclusions:

Very few pre-school children have diets that meet all the RNIs and recommendations for iron, zinc, vitamins C and A, and energy from non-milk extrinsic sugars. Dietary adequacy with respect to these five parameters is related to socio-economic factors. The findings emphasise the need for a range of public health policies that focus upon the social and economic determinants of food choice within families.

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*Corresponding author: Email r.watt@ucl.ac.uk
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1A Sherriff , A Emond , N Hawkins , J Golding . Haemoglobin and ferritin concentrations in children aged 12 and 18 months. Arch. Dis. Child 1999; 80, 153–7.

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10W Doyle , Nutritional survey of schoolchildren in an inner city area. Arch. Dis. Child. 1994; 70: 376–81.

12T Lang , M Caraher . Access to healthy foods: part II. Food poverty and shopping deserts: what are the implications for health promotion policy and practice. Health. Educ. J. 1998; 57: 202–11.

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