Objective: Excessive energy intake and poor food choices are major health concerns associated with overweight and obesity risk. This study aims to explore disparities in energy intake and the contributions from fat and animal source foods among Chinese school-aged children and adolescents in different communities based on urbanization levels. Design: Three consecutive 24 h recalls were used to assess dietary intake. Subjects’ height and weight were measured using standard equipment. Standardized questionnaires were used to collect household demographic and socioeconomic characteristics by trained interviewers. Setting: The 2011 China Health and Nutrition Survey is part of an ongoing longitudinal household survey across 228 communities in nine provinces and three mega-cities in China. Subjects consisted of children aged 4–17 years (n
= 1866; 968 boys and 898 girls). Results: The estimated average energy intake was 1604 kcal/day (1706 kcal/day for boys and 1493 kcal/day for girls). Proportions of energy from fat and animal source foods were 36.8% and 19.8% respectively and did not differ by gender. Total energy intake showed no significant disparity, but the proportion of energy from fat and animal source foods increased with increasing urbanization levels and increasing household income level. The largest difference in consumption percentages between children in rural areas and those in highly urban areas was for milk and dairy products (14.8% versus 74.4%) and the smallest difference was seen in percent consuming meat and meat products (83.1% versus 97.1%). Conclusions: Results of this study highlight the need for developing and implementing community-specific strategies to improve Chinese children’s diet quality.
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