Characterizing Dinner Meals Served and Consumed by Low-Income Preschool Children
(Impact Factor: 1.87).
12/2012; 8(6):561-71. DOI: 10.1089/chi.2011.0114
A dinner meal is consumed by approximately 95% of preschool children, yet few studies have characterized the dinner meal within a broader environmental context. The primary goal of this study was to identify the average quantities of foods served and consumed at the dinner meal by preschool children. A secondary goal was to look at factors that influenced the total amounts of food and energy consumed among preschoolers at the dinner meal.
Food intake at a family dinner meal was measured using digital photography in African-American and Hispanic-American preschool children (n = 231). Pictorial records were converted to gram and energy estimates of food served and consumed; grams were converted to kilocalories for each food using Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR) nutritional software. Foods were categorized by groups/subgroups. Comparison of means and coefficient of variation was examined overall and by food groups for food grams (and energy) served, consumed, and wasted. The relationship of mother/child characteristics to amounts served and consumed were analyzed by regression and analysis of variance (ANOVA).
Plate waste was high; 30% of the foods served to the child at the dinner meal were not consumed. The amounts of food and beverage served and consumed varied within and among the food groups studied. The proportion of children served a major food group at the dinner meal varied considerably: 44% fruit/juice, 97% vegetables, 99% grains, 97% meats, 74% dairy, 66% sweetened beverages, 92% fat and oils, and 40% sweets and sugars. The amount of food served was positively associated with the amount consumed (p < 0.0001). Energy density of the dinner meal was positively associated with energy intake consumed (p < 0.0001).
Plate waste and variation in amounts served and consumed was substantial. The amount of food served was positively associated with the amount of food consumed by preschool children.
Available from: John B. Correa
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ABSTRACT: The Digital Photography of Foods Method accurately estimates the food intake of adults and children in cafeterias. When using this method, images of food selection and leftovers are quickly captured in the cafeteria. These images are later compared with images of 'standard' portions of food using computer software. The amount of food selected and discarded is estimated based upon this comparison, and the application automatically calculates energy and nutrient intake. In the present review, we describe this method, as well as a related method called the Remote Food Photography Method (RFPM), which relies on smartphones to estimate food intake in near real-time in free-living conditions. When using the RFPM, participants capture images of food selection and leftovers using a smartphone and these images are wirelessly transmitted in near real-time to a server for analysis. Because data are transferred and analysed in near real-time, the RFPM provides a platform for participants to quickly receive feedback about their food intake behaviour and to receive dietary recommendations for achieving weight loss and health promotion goals. The reliability and validity of measuring food intake with the RFPM in adults and children is also reviewed. In sum, the body of research reviewed demonstrates that digital imaging accurately estimates food intake in many environments and it has many advantages over other methods, including reduced participant burden, elimination of the need for participants to estimate portion size, and the incorporation of computer automation to improve the accuracy, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the method.
Available from: Dominique Monlezun
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ABSTRACT: Eating habits are developed during the preschool years and track into adulthood, but few studies have quantified dietary quality of meals packed by parents for preschool children enrolled in early care and education centers.
Our aim was to evaluate the dietary quality of preschoolers' sack lunches using the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) 2010 to provide parents of preschool children with guidance to increase the healthfulness of their child's lunch.
This study is a cross-sectional analysis of baseline dietary data from the Lunch Is in the Bag trial.
A total of 607 parent-child dyads from 30 early care and education centers in Central and South Texas were included.
Total and component scores of the HEI were computed using data obtained from direct observations of packed lunches and of children's consumption.
Three-level regression models with random intercepts at the early care and education center and child level were used; all models were adjusted for child sex, age, and body mass index (calculated as kg/m(2)).
Mean HEI-2010 total scores were 58 for lunches packed and 52 for lunches consumed, out of 100 possible points. Mean HEI component scores for packed and consumed lunches were lowest for greens and beans (6% and 8% of possible points), total vegetables (33% and 28%), seafood and plant proteins (33% and 29%), and whole grains (38% and 34%); and highest for empty calories (85% and 68% of possible points), total fruit (80% and 70%), whole fruit (79% and 64%), and total protein foods (76% and 69%).
Parents of preschool children pack lunches with low dietary quality that lack vegetables, plant proteins, and whole grains, as measured by the HEI. Education of parents and care providers in early care and education centers is vital to ensure that preschoolers receive high dietary-quality meals that promote their preference for and knowledge of a healthy diet.
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