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Nutrients 2018, 10(2), 178; doi:10.3390/nu10020178

Predictors of Dietary Energy Density among Preschool Aged Children

1
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia
2
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 November 2017 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Intake, Trends, and Determinants)
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Abstract

Childhood obesity is a global problem with many contributing factors including dietary energy density (DED). This paper aims to investigate potential predictors of DED among preschool aged children in Victoria, Australia. Secondary analysis of longitudinal data for 209 mother–child pairs from the Melbourne Infant Feeding, Activity and Nutrition Trial was conducted. Data for predictors (maternal child feeding and nutrition knowledge, maternal dietary intake, home food availability, socioeconomic status) were obtained through questionnaires completed by first-time mothers when children were aged 4 or 18 months. Three 24-h dietary recalls were completed when children were aged ~3.5 years. DED was calculated utilizing three methods: “food only”, “food and dairy beverages”, and “food and all beverages”. Linear regression analyses were conducted to identify associations between predictors and these three measures of children’s DED. Home availability of fruits (β: −0.82; 95% CI: −1.35, −0.29, p = 0.002 for DEDfood; β: −0.42; 95% CI: −0.82, −0.02, p = 0.041 for DEDfood+dairy beverages) and non-core snacks (β: 0.11; 95% CI: 0.02, 0.20, p = 0.016 for DEDfood; β: 0.09; 95% CI: 0.02, 0.15, p = 0.010 for DEDfood+dairy beverages) were significantly associated with two of the three DED measures. Providing fruit at home early in a child’s life may encourage the establishment of healthful eating behaviors that could promote a diet that is lower in energy density later in life. Home availability of non-core snacks is likely to increase the energy density of preschool children’s diets, supporting the proposition that non-core snack availability at home should be limited. View Full-Text
Keywords: dietary energy density; preschool children; dietary intake; home food availability; non-core snacks; energy dense foods; Australia; 24-h recall dietary energy density; preschool children; dietary intake; home food availability; non-core snacks; energy dense foods; Australia; 24-h recall
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fernando, N.N.; Campbell, K.J.; McNaughton, S.A.; Zheng, M.; Lacy, K.E. Predictors of Dietary Energy Density among Preschool Aged Children. Nutrients 2018, 10, 178.

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