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The contribution of specific dietary patterns to energy and nutrient intakes in 7–8-year-old Scottish schoolchildren. III. Snacking habits

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The contribution of snacks to dietary intakes was investigated in a sample of 136 7–8-year-old children. Mean daily energy and nutrient intakes were estimated using the 7-day weighed inventory method and the contribution of snacks was analysed separately. Snacks contributed 26% of energy intake and a large proportion of macronutrient intakes. The influence of a high intake of snacks on overall diet was investigated by classifying children as low or high snackers based on the proportion of daily energy intakes from snacks. There were no significant differences in anthropometry, and few significant differences in energy and nutrient intakes between children classified as ‘low’ and ‘high’ snackers. This was partly because ‘high’ snackers had a lower energy and macronutrient intake from meals, although this does not explain the lack of significant differences in micronutrient intakes between the snacking groups given that snacks were less nutrient dense than meals. It is concluded that snacks made an important contribution to energy and nutrient intakes in this sample but that further research is required to investigate how a high intake of snacks affects the quality of children's diets.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, Queen Margaret College,Edinburgh EH12 8TS, UK 2: Department of Child Life and Health, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 1UW, UK

Publication date: 1996-02-01

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