Energy and nutrient intakes in a sample of 136 Edinburgh 7-8 year olds: a comparison with United Kingdom dietary reference values
Ruxton, C.H.; Kirk, T.R.; Belton, N.R.; Holmes, M.A.
British Journal of Nutrition 75(2): 151-160
Energy and nutrient intakes were assessed in 136 children, aged 7-8 years and living in and around Edinburgh, using the 7 d weighed inventory technique. The results were compared with UK dietary reference values (DRY) for energy, macronutrients and micronutrients. NSP intakes were compared with a calculated reference value (CRV). Mean energy intakes were close to the estimated average requirement for both boys and girls. Mean percentages of food energy derived from fat and saturated fat were high in relation to DRV (37 and 14 compared with 35 and 11 respectively). Mean percentage of food energy derived from total carbohydrate was close to the DRV of 50 but intakes of starch appeared to be low and intakes of total sugars high (23 and 26% food energy respectively). Superficially, this suggests that there is a need to alter the balance of carbohydrate in favour of increasing starch and lowering total sugar. There was, however, a clear 'fat-sugar seesaw', i.e. children with a high percentage energy from total sugars had a low percentage energy from fat, and vice versa. In view of this finding, it is possible that efforts to reduce total sugar intake in children may result in a further increase in percentage energy from fat. Mean intakes of NSP were only 50% of the CRV, but this guideline may be set too high. Mean intakes of most micronutrients were above reference nutrient intakes. Reported low intakes of Zn and Se were treated with caution due to the perceived incompleteness of the data for these in the nutrient database. The authors concluded that targeting high intakes of total fat and saturated fat should be the health priorities in this age-group.