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Sources of Vitamin A in the Diets of Pre-School Children in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC)
School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 2BN, UK
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
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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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.
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.
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.