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Is there a relationship between the food intakes of Scottish 5½−8½-year-olds and those of their mothers?

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Abstract Background

Recent reports have highlighted certain aspects of the diets of children and adults in Scotland today that are a cause for concern. If there are significant associations between family members in food choice and thus in nutrient intakes, this may be important in the aetiology and prevention of diseases relating to dietary risk factors. Aim

To compare the food intake of Scottish children aged 5½−8½ years with that of their mothers. Methods

As part of a larger study, data on food intakes were obtained from 4-day weighed food records for 36 Scottish children (12 boys and 24 girls), aged 5½−8½ years, who had participated in the 1992/1993 National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS), and their mothers. Results

Compared with their mothers, children had higher median densities [weight (g) of foods per 4.2 MJ (1000 kcal)] of snack foods including fruit, bread and confectionery and lower median densities of meat and meat products, fish, potatoes and vegetables. Positive, significant correlations between children and mothers were found for median densities of bread (r = 0.360, P < 0.05), fruit (r = 0.735, P < 0.001) and potatoes (r = 0.572, P < 0.001) and also for chips (r = 0.651, P < 0.001) and chocolate confectionery (r = 0.368, P < 0.05), the latter two being foods that should be reduced in the average Scottish diet. Conclusions

Children's intakes of snack foods were correlated with that of their mothers emphasizing the need for change at a family level if current guidelines on diet are to be implemented.
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Keywords: children; dietary intake; meals; mothers; snacks

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Public Health Nutrition Research, University of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, UK and 2: Clinical Dental Sciences, Liverpool Dental Hospital and School, Liverpool, UK

Publication date: 2002-08-01

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