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J Am Diet Assoc. 1995 Jul;95(7):759-64.

Fat preferences and fat consumption of 3- to 5-year-old children are related to parental adiposity.

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  • 1Division of Nutrition Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine differences in preferences for high-fat foods, dietary fat intake, anthropometric measurements, and parental body mass index (BMI) among 3- to 5-year-old children.

DESIGN:

Children's fat intake was measured using 30-hour weighed food intake data from a standard menu. Children's fat preferences were assessed using a subset of foods from the standard menu. We obtained parents' BMI scores and children's anthropometric measurements including weight-for-stature, triceps, and subscapular skinfolds.

SUBJECTS:

Participants were children 3 to 5 years of age (n = 18, 10 girls and 8 boys; mean [+/- standard deviation] age = 52 +/- 1.9 months) who were without food allergies, food sensitivities, or chronic illness, and the children's parents (18 mothers and 16 fathers).

STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED:

Correlational analyses and maximum likelihood contingency tables were used to examine children's fat preferences and fat intake, children's anthropometric measurements, and BMI scores of parents.

RESULTS:

Although all children were offered the same daily menu, children's dietary fat intakes ranged from 25% to 42%. Children indicating strong preferences for high-fat foods had high total fat intakes (r = .54, P < .05; chi 2 = 3.96, df = 1, P < .05). Children's fat preferences were also related to their triceps skinfold measurements (r = .61; P < .01). Finally, those children with the strongest preferences for high-fat foods (r = .75, P < .01; chi 2 = 10.68, df = 1, P < .05) and the highest total fat intakes (r = .67, P < .01; chi 2 = 5.28, df = 1, P < .05) had heavier parents than did children with low scores.

CONCLUSIONS:

Offering children a nutritionally adequate diet is necessary but may not be sufficient to ensure dietary quality; children's food preferences are influential determinants of macronutrient intake. The association of children's fat preferences and intake with parental adiposity suggests that dietary influences may mediate familial patterns of adiposity.

PMID:
7797805
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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