This cross-sectional study of 2- to 12-year-olds living in medically underserved areas examined the proportion of children meeting the food group intake recommendations for fruits, vegetables, total grains, dairy, and meat/meat alternatives by age group and body weight status. Based on 24-hour recalls collected between July 2004 and March of 2005, mean food group intake and deviation from the recommended intake amounts were determined (actual intake minus recommended intake). Measured weight and height were used to calculate body mass index z scores using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts. Data analyses were done for two age groups (2- to 5-year-olds and 6- to 12-year-olds) (n=214), by weight status categories (underweight or healthy weight [<85th percentile], overweight [85th to 94th percentile], or obese [≥95th percentile]), and were repeated for the subset of children with biologically plausible reports. The majority of children lived in low-income households. More 2- to 5-year-olds met intake recommendations compared with 6- to 12-year-olds. Overall, the proportion of children meeting the food group intake recommendations was low with the exception of the meat group, which was met by 52% and 93% of the 2- to 5- and 6- to 12-year-old children, respectively. There was a positive association between the proportion of younger children meeting the fruits or total grains recommendation and increasing body weight. The data support the importance of community-level nutrition intervention programs to improve children's diet quality in low-income, medically underserved areas and suggest that such interventions may help reduce the risk of obesity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Nutrition and Dietetics