Submitted to: Journal Of The American Dietetic Association
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2001
Publication Date: 9/1/2001
Citation: Carter JB, Cullen KW, Baranowski T. 2001. Caloric contribution of high-fat/high-sugar snack foods in the diets of 6th to 8th grade students. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 101(9 Suppl.):A51. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Dietary guidelines recommend Americans limit their consumption of high-fat/high-sugar foods. However, little is known about the consumption patterns of these foods among adolescents. This study examined the contribution of high-fat/high-sugar snack foods and added fats and oils to adolescent's daily caloric intake. Sixth to 8th grade students (n=104; 35% African-American, 10% Euro-American, 42% Mexican-American, 59% girls) from low-income Houston schools completed up to five days of food records (FR) at school. Total calories and fat calories consumed from six high-fat/high-sugar food groups (ice creams, sweet grains, savory snacks, desserts, candy, and sweetened beverages) and from discretionary fats and oils were calculated using the NDS food group system (Univ. of Minn.). Mean caloric intake was 1800 kcal ± 541; mean % calories from fat was 38% ± 6%. The seven food groups, which were foods in the "tip" of the Food Guide Pyramid, provided 649 ± 268 total kcal (36% of total calories), including 304.5 fat calories (45% of total fat calories). The caloric contribution of just the six high-fat/high-sugar snack food groups was 456 ± 268 kcal/day, or 26% of total daily calories and 28% of total daily fat calories. These data suggest that dietary intervention programs should educate parents on ways to make it easier for adolescents to limit their consumption of high-fat/high-sugar snack foods by increasing the availability, accessibility and desirability of lower fat/lower sugar options from food groups "below the tip" of the Food Guide Pyramid, including fruit and vegetables.