Location: Children's Nutrition Research CenterTitle: Peanut consumption's association to child weight and nutrition status Author
Submitted to: Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2009
Publication Date: 10/1/2009
Citation: Johnston, C.A., El-Mubasher, A.A., Liscum, S.L., Reeves, R.S., Foreyt, J.P. 2009. Peanut consumption's association to child weight and nutrition status [abstract]. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 55(Suppl.1):272. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Consumption of nuts has been associated with lower coronary artery disease in adults. Nuts have also been shown to have a lipid lowering effect, and despite their fat content, people who eat nuts do not show a propensity for overweight. Peanut eaters have been identified as having improved diet quality and lower body mass indices(BMI). However, few studies have addressed these health benefits in children. The objective of the current study is to determine the association between peanut consumption and weight status in Hispanic children. A total of 262 6th grade Hispanic students (54% male) completed a Block Dietary Data Systems food frequency questionnaire as a basel line assessment of diet before beginning a school-based weight management program. Children were grouped into either peanut consuming (PC; n = 100) or non-peanut consuming groups (NPC; n = 162). Peanut consumption was defined as having eaten peanuts or peanut butter at least once during the previous week. A chi-square analysis revealed that children in the PC group were significantly less likely to be categorized as overweight (p = .001). 60% of PC children wre normal weight compared to 40% of NPC children. PC children also had significantly higher intakes of several vitamins and micronutrients (e.g., iron, magnesium, vitamin E, B6). There were also significant differences in LDL and cholesterol between groups (p=.006, p=.02 respectively). These results illustrate that consumption of peanuts and/or peanut butter is associated with lower weight status and improved diet and lipid quality. Additionally, peanuts may play a role in counteracting the obesity epidemic in Hispanic children. Consumption of peanuts may also be viewed as a marker for engaging in a healthier lifestyle. Future research is needed to elucidate the role peanut consumption has on overall health in children.