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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Changes in the Dietary Patterns and Food Intakes of Children over the Past 25 Years

item Moshfegh, Alanna
item Goldman, Joseph

Submitted to: American Dietetic Association Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 20, 2006
Publication Date: April 20, 2007
Citation: Moshfegh, A., Goldman, J. 2006. Changes in the dietary patterns and food intakes of children over the past 25 years [abstract]. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 106(8) Supplement 2:A-35.

Technical Abstract: Understanding the dietary patterns and food and nutrient intakes of children in relation to changes over time is critical to designing result-based strategies to improve dietary status and ultimately, health. National food and nutrient intake data of children from What We Eat in America, NHANES 2001-02 were analyzed to assess dietary patterns and food and nutrient intakes and compared to results from the 1977-78 Nationwide Food Consumption Survey to identify changes over the past 25 years. Major changes have occurred in not only food and nutrient intakes but also in dietary patterns. Mean daily energy intake for children 9-12 years of age in 2001-02 was 2,086 calories, an increase of about 80 calories from the mean intake reported in the late 1970's. While most children today eat breakfast, the proportion declined from 93 to 82 percent over the 25-year period. The number of children snacking and the number of snacks consumed greatly increased. Most children in 2001-02 consumed one or more snacks on any given day compared to 2/3 of children in the late 1970's, with nearly half of children consuming 3 or more snacks. Away from home eating had the greatest impact on snacks and lunch representing 1/3 of the calories at snacks and 2/3 at lunch. The greatest increases in food intakes occurred for pizza, savory grain snacks, and candy; and in beverage intakes for carbonated soft drinks and fruit drinks.

Last Modified: 4/18/2015