Nutrients 2013, 5(5), 1609-1621; doi:10.3390/nu5051609
Article

Sources of Vitamin A in the Diets of Pre-School Children in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC)

1 School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 2BN, UK 2 Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Paul O'Gorman Building, Upper Maudlin Street, Bristol, BS2 8BJ, UK
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 February 2013; in revised form: 28 March 2013 / Accepted: 17 April 2013 / Published: 15 May 2013
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Abstract: Vitamin A is essential for growth and development. We investigated whether high consumption of energy-dense nutrient-poor foods in the diets of pre-school children is detrimental to diet quality with respect to vitamin A. Data were collected from 755 children at 18-months and 3½-years, from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, using 3-day unweighed dietary records completed by parents in 1994 and 1996, respectively. Energy, carotene and retinol intakes were calculated. The quality of the diet declined from 18-months to 3½-years with respect to vitamin A. Preformed retinol intakes decreased by −54 μg/day on average (p = 0.003). Carotene intakes were similar at each age although there was a 23% increase in energy intake by 3½-years. Longitudinally those in the highest quartile of intake at 18-months were twice as likely to remain in the highest quartile at 3½-years for retinol (OR 2.21 (95% CI 1.48–3.28)) and carotene (OR 1.66 (95% CI 1.11–2.50)) than to change quartiles. Nutrient-rich core foods provided decreasing amounts of carotene and preformed retinol over time (both p < 0.001). Vegetables and milk contributed the highest proportion of carotene at both ages, but milk’s contribution decreased over time. Milk and liver were the largest sources of retinol. Nutrient-poor foods provided an increased proportion of energy (p < 0.001) with low proportions of both nutrients; however fat spreads made an important contribution. It is recommended that pre-school children should take vitamin supplements; only 19% at 18-months did this, falling to 11% at 3½-years. Care should be taken to choose nutrient-rich foods and avoid energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods when feeding pre-school children.
Keywords: vitamin A; carotene; retinol; core and non-core foods; pre-school children; ALSPAC; nutrient-dense foods; nutrient-poor foods

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cribb, V.L.; Northstone, K.; Hopkins, D.; Emmett, P.M. Sources of Vitamin A in the Diets of Pre-School Children in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Nutrients 2013, 5, 1609-1621.

AMA Style

Cribb VL, Northstone K, Hopkins D, Emmett PM. Sources of Vitamin A in the Diets of Pre-School Children in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Nutrients. 2013; 5(5):1609-1621.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cribb, Victoria L.; Northstone, Kate; Hopkins, David; Emmett, Pauline M. 2013. "Sources of Vitamin A in the Diets of Pre-School Children in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC)." Nutrients 5, no. 5: 1609-1621.

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