Submitted to: Society for Nutrition Education
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 23, 2002
Publication Date: July 27, 2002
Citation: BOWMAN, S.A. CHILDREN'S DIET: HOUSEHOLD INCOME AND FOOD SOURCES OF EMPTY CALORIES. SOCIETY FOR NUTRITION EDUCATION. 2002. 35th Annual Meeting St. Paul, Minnesota. Vol. 35. No. 1. Technical Abstract: An increase in the prevalence of childhood obesity is an important health issue today. Dietary intervention strategies include reducing intakes of foods high in empty calories. This study used USDA's Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals 1994-96 data and examined whether children ages 2 to 5 years living in low income households had different dietary sources of empty calories than the other children. There were 1,062 children from low income households (income less than 185 percent poverty) and 1,121 children from other income households (income at or above 185 percent poverty). The low-income children choose more foods high in fat: they drank more whole milk and ate more meat and french fries than other-income children. Therefore, only one-third of them met the Dietary Guidelines recommendation for total fat and about one-fifth met the saturated fat recommendation while substantially higher percentages of the other-income children met these two recommendations. Fruits, fruit juices, and low-fat milk intakes were high among the other-income children. Both income groups had about one-sixth of their total energy from added sugars. Fruit drinks and soft drinks were the top added sugar sources for low-income children while sweetened, grain-based baked products and fruit drinks were the top sources for other-income children. About 60 percent of children living in central cities or rural areas and more than 70 percent of Hispanic and African American children were from low-income households. These finding are useful to dietitians who work with children. This study was funded by USDA/ARS.