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J Hum Nutr Diet. 2002 Aug;15(4):271-9.

Is there a relationship between the food intakes of Scottish 5(1/2)-8(1/2)-year-olds and those of their mothers?

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  • 1Centre for Public Health Nutrition Research, University of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, UK.



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.


To compare the food intake of Scottish children aged 5(1/2)-8(1/2) years with that of their mothers.


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 5(1/2)-8(1/2) years, who had participated in the 1992/1993 National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS), and their mothers.


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.


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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