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The nutrient and food intakes of British male dieters aged 16-17 years

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Background: There is little information available about the dieting habits of teenage boys. This study aimed to examine the food and nutrient intake of male teenage dieters and compare these with the patterns reported among female dieters.Method: Male dieters aged 16-17 years were isolated from the 1970 Longitudinal Birth Cohort study group. Five hundred and one males who provided a 4-day unweighed dietary diary, height and weight measurements and appropriate background information.Results: Thirty-nine subjects (7.8%) both reported dieting and had a ratio of reported energy intakes to estimated basal metabolic rate measurements of less than 1.35. Dieters were taller and heavier than non-dieters, with mean BMIs of 24.6 and 20.0, respectively, for the two groups. Dieters reported average energy intakes of 9.16 MJ/day compared to intakes of 12.83 MJ/day among non-dieters, and the percentage of energy provided by protein was higher and that provided by NMES lower among dieters. Reported micronutrient intakes were lower among dieters, with calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, iodine, vitamin B6, vitamin C and retinol equivalents the nutrients most vulnerable to reduction in energy intakes. Dieters reported lower intakes of most food groups, but reported intakes of alcohol and meat and meat products were not reduced among dieters.Conclusion: Dieters clearly reported energy intakes which were unlikely to represent levels of intake sufficient to maintain existing weight. The nutrient and food intakes reported by the dieters were likely to reflect either true dieting behaviour during the study period, under-reporting or a combination of these effects.
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Keywords: dieting; energy intake; food intake; nutrient intake; teenage males

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Statistics, OR and Probabilistic Methods Research Centre (STORM), University of North London, London, UK 2: Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences, The Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London, UK

Publication date: 1998-02-01

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