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Dietary intake and health outcomes among young children attending 2 urban day-care centers

Dietary intake and health outcomes among young children attending 2 urban day-care centers

Journal of the American Dietetic Association 99(12): 1529-1535

40 3- to 5-year-old black children from 2 day-care centres in a urban community participated. One centre participated in the Child and Adult Care Food Programme (CACFP). At the other centre, children brought all meals and snacks from home. Data were obtained for 14 days of dietary intake, which were analysed for energy and 15 nutrients and 6 food groups. Health outcome measures recorded were anthropometric measures, including weight-for-height; dental caries; and days of illness. Data from the 2 groups of children were compared using parametric and nonparametric t tests. Children receiving CACFP meals at day care had significantly higher mean daily intakes of vitamin A (804+or-191 vs 595+or-268 RE), riboflavin (1.45+or-0.32 vs 1.21+or-0.22 mg), and Ca (714+or-180 vs 503+or-143 mg) than the children who brought all of their meals and snacks from home. Children who received CACFP meals also consumed significantly more servings of milk (2.9+or-0.9 servings vs 1.5+or-0.7) and vegetables (1.8+or-0.5 vs 1.2+or-0.5 servings) and significantly fewer servings of fats/sweets (4.6+or-1.3 vs 5.4+or-1.1 servings) than children who brought their meals. Weight-for-height status and dental caries scores did not differ between the 2 groups. Children from the centre participating in the CACFP had significantly fewer days of illness (median 6.5 vs 10.5 days) than children from the non-participating centre. It is concluded that nutritious meals provided by the CACFP can improve diets and may promote health among young, urban children. Registered dietitians can contribute to food assistance programs by intervening to enhance the quality of meals served and by examining the impact of participation on measures of diet quality and diet-related health outcomes.

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Accession: 003406009

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 10608946

DOI: 10.1016/s0002-8223(99)00375-2

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