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Open AccessArticle

Contribution of Discretionary Foods and Drinks to Australian Children’s Intake of Energy, Saturated Fat, Added Sugars and Salt

School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
Centre for Research Excellence in Early Prevention of Obesity in Childhood, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Children 2017, 4(12), 104;
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
Interventions are required to reduce children’s consumption of discretionary foods and drinks. To intervene we need to identify appropriate discretionary choice targets. This study aimed to determine the main discretionary choice contributors to energy and key nutrient intakes in children aged 2–18 years. Secondary analyses were performed with population weighted, single 24 h dietary recall data from the 2011–2012 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey. Cakes, muffins, and slices; sweet biscuits; potato crisps and similar snacks; and, processed meats and sugar-sweetened drinks were relatively commonly consumed and were within the top three to five contributors to per capita energy, saturated fat, sodium, and/or added sugars. Per consumer intake identified cereal-based takeaway foods; cakes, muffins and slices; meat pies and other savoury pastries; and, processed meats as top contributors to energy, saturated fat, and sodium across most age groups. Subgroups of sugar-sweetened drinks and cakes, muffins and slices were consistently key contributors to added sugars intake. This study identified optimal targets for interventions to reduce discretionary choices intake, likely to have the biggest impact on moderating energy intake while also reducing intakes of saturated fat, sodium and/or added sugars. View Full-Text
Keywords: dietary intake; energy-dense; nutrient-poor; child obesity prevention dietary intake; energy-dense; nutrient-poor; child obesity prevention
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Johnson, B.J.; Bell, L.K.; Zarnowiecki, D.; Rangan, A.M.; Golley, R.K. Contribution of Discretionary Foods and Drinks to Australian Children’s Intake of Energy, Saturated Fat, Added Sugars and Salt. Children 2017, 4, 104.

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