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Associations of Less Healthy Snack Food Consumption with Infant Weight-for-Length Z-Score Trajectories: Findings from the Nurture Cohort Study
Open AccessArticle

Exploratory Analysis of Nutritional Quality and Metrics of Snack Consumption among Nepali Children during the Complementary Feeding Period

1
Helen Keller International USA, One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Floor 2, New York, NY 10017, USA
2
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel St, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7HT, UK
3
Helen Keller International Nepal, Green Block, Ward No 10, Chakupat, Patandhoka Road, Lalitpur 44700, Nepal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2962; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122962
Received: 15 November 2019 / Revised: 28 November 2019 / Accepted: 29 November 2019 / Published: 4 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Snacking Behaviors and Weight Status)
The World Health Organization recommends feeding snacks between meals to young children. This study explored nutritional quality of snacks consumed between meals and consumption metrics (% total energy intakes (%TEI) and amount of kcal from snacks) to understand correlations with dietary outcomes (total energy intakes and dietary adequacy) and body-mass-index-for-age z-scores (BMIZ). Data used were 24-h dietary recalls and anthropometric measurements among a representative sample (n = 679) of one-year-olds in Nepal. Nepali meal patterns for young children were identified through formative research and all foods/beverages consumed outside of meals were categorized as snacks. A nutrient profiling model was used to categorize snacks as healthy or unhealthy, based on positive and negative nutrient content. Snacks consumed between meals provided half of all energy consumed, and were associated with increased energy and nutrient intakes. The positive effect of snacks between meals on dietary adequacy was greater when these snacks were healthy, while increasing %TEI from unhealthy snacks consumed between meals was negatively associated with dietary adequacy. Consumption of snacks between meals was not associated with mean BMIZ among the children. These findings indicate that the provision of and nutritional quality of snacks are important considerations to communicate to caregivers. Discouragement of unhealthy, nutrient-poor snacks is critical for complementary feeding dietary guidelines in contexts experiencing nutrition transition.
Keywords: snack; dietary measurement; infant and young child feeding; Nepal snack; dietary measurement; infant and young child feeding; Nepal
MDPI and ACS Style

Pries, A.M.; Ferguson, E.L.; Sharma, N.; Upadhyay, A.; Filteau, S. Exploratory Analysis of Nutritional Quality and Metrics of Snack Consumption among Nepali Children during the Complementary Feeding Period. Nutrients 2019, 11, 2962.

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