1Sabará Children’s Hospital, Pensi Institute, São Paulo, Brazil.
Background and objective. Children with feeding difficulties may be vulnerable to inadequate energy and nutrients intake, because of their avoidance/restriction for certain foods. This might impair the increased intake of energy and overconsumed nutrients of public health concern. Overconsumed nutrients are saturated fats (SFA), added sugars, and sodium. Quantitative data on energy and these nutrients from children with feeding difficulties is limited. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of energy and overconsumed nutrients of public health concern and their food sources.
Methods. Cross-sectional data from 270 (M=3.97±0.19 years, 63.33% males) children with feeding difficulties living in an urban area from Brazil. Children with feeding difficulties were identified as picky eaters, with poor appetite, and fear of feeding. Twenty-four-hour dietary recall data were analyzed for energy and overconsumed nutrients. The prevalence of energy and nutrients were compared to the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) from the Institute of Medicine. Energy and nutrients were ranked on percentage contribution to the diet using the “What We Eat in Latin-America” food classification system to identify the top food groups
Results. The children mean intake for energy, SFA, sodium, and added sugars were 1293.40±SE 40.82kcal/day, 16.06±0.94g/day, 1542.73±2.46mg/day, and 29.45±2.46g/day, respectively. The top three food sources of energy were formula, prepared from powder (21.32%), whole milk (16.05%), and yeast bread (4.22%). For SFA were whole milk (36.65%), formula prepared from powder (18.28%), and human milk (8.05%). Sodium food sources were whole milk (10.29%), yeast bread (9.54%), and formula prepared from powder (9.47%). Finally, added sugar top three sources were candy, not containing chocolate (27.26%), fruit drinks (20.44%), and flavored whole milk. (11.41%).
Conclusions. Milk food sources were top contributors to more than one dietary component examined, suggesting possible priorities for intervention and future analyses. The identification of top sources of energy and overconsumed nutrients can inform the population, to improve the health of children with feeding difficulties.