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Research Project: Childhood Obesity Prevention

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Interrelationships of child appetite, weight and snacking among Hispanic preschoolers

Author
item Rudy, Eszter - Temple University
item Bauer, Katherine - University Of Michigan
item Hughes, Sheryl - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item O'connor, Teresia - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item Vollrath, Kirstin - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item Davey, Adam - Temple University
item Correa, Nilda - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item Chen, Tzu - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item Fisher, Jennifer - Temple University

Submitted to: Pediatric Obesity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2016
Publication Date: 10/25/2016
Citation: Rudy, E., Bauer, K.W., Hughes, S.O., O'Connor, T.M., Vollrath, K., Davey, A., Correa, N.E., Chen, T.A., Fisher, J.O. 2016. Interrelationships of child appetite, weight and snacking among Hispanic preschoolers. Pediatric Obesity. doi:10.1111/ijpo.12186.

Interpretive Summary: Snacking among US preschoolers has increased in recent decades, raising questions about whether snacking contributes to dietary excess. The goal of this study was to examine 1) how snacking contributes to excess dietary intake and 2) the associations between appetite and weight among Hispanic low-income preschool-aged children. The results of this study showed that children consumed 28% of their daily energy from snacks and that the higher the snacking frequency, the higher the daily intakes of energy and added sugars. Additionally, among overweight/obese children, higher enjoyment of food was associated with more frequent snacking and greater energy intake from snacks. Among normal weight children, the higher enjoyment of food was, the lower snacking frequency and energy intake were. More frequent snacking among low-income Hispanic preschoolers may contribute to excessive intakes of energy and added sugars, particularly among overweight/obese children with greater motivation to eat.

Technical Abstract: Snacking among US preschoolers has increased in recent decades, raising questions about whether snacking contributes to dietary excess. This research aimed to characterize snacking contributions to dietary excess and to evaluate associations with appetite and weight among preschool-aged children. This study is a cross-sectional, observational study of 187 Hispanic low-income preschoolers. Three 24-h dietary recalls were used to assess snacking frequency and parameters of dietary excess including energy, saturated fat, trans fats and added sugars. Parental reports of child satiety responsiveness, food responsiveness, and enjoyment of food were obtained. Child height and weight were measured. Children consumed 28% (395 kcal) of daily energy from snacks eaten at 2.3 +/- 1.0 occasions per day. Greater snacking frequency was associated with greater daily intakes of energy (p<0.05) and added sugars (p<0.001). Among overweight/obese children, higher enjoyment of food was associated with more frequent snacking and greater energy intake from snacks (p=0.01). Inverse associations of enjoyment of food with snacking frequency and energy intake were seen among normal weight children (p<0.05). More frequent snacking among low-income Hispanic preschoolers may contribute to excessive intakes of energy and added sugars, particularly among overweight/obese children with greater motivation to eat.