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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001 Apr;25(4):559-66.

The role of dietary calcium and other nutrients in moderating body fat in preschool children.

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Nutrition Department, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville 37996-1900, USA.



To assess preschool children's food consumption (24-60 months) and relate these findings to body composition at 70+/-2 months.


A longitudinal study of children's dietary intakes for selected nutrients and servings of dairy products.


Fifty-three white children participating in a longitudinal study (2-96 months) of children's food practices and growth.


Using in-home interviews and trained interviewers, 18 days of dietary data and measured height and weight of each child at 6 month intervals were collected. Body composition was determined by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry.


Dietary fat was 30-33% of energy with saturated and monounsaturated fat intakes>10% and polyunsaturated<10%. Adjusting for body mass index (BMI), GLM models to predict percent body fat (%BF) or grams of total fat (gTF) with mean longitudinal calcium intake (%BF: R2=0.51, F=7.88, P<0.0001; gTF: R2=0.51, F=9.84, P=0.0001) or total servings of dairy products (%BF: R2=0.47, F=6.93, P<0.0001; gTF: R2=0.47, F=8.31, P<0.0001) as independent variables gave significant results. Higher mean longitudinal calcium (mg/day) intakes and more servings/day of dairy products were associated with lower body fat. Males had significantly less body fat (P=0.01) than females.


Higher longitudinal intakes of calcium, monounsaturated fat, and servings of dairy products were associated with lower body fat.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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