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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003 Aug;157(8):759-64.

Dietary composition and weight change among low-income preschool children.

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Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.



To examine the relation between dietary composition and weight change among children. We tested several hypotheses considering intake of nutrients (total fat and fiber) and predefined food groups (breads and grains, "fat foods," fruits, and vegetables) used in the North Dakota Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC Program).


Prospective study. Subjects We collected dietary, anthropometric, and sociodemographic data from 1379 children aged 2 to 5 years participating in the North Dakota WIC Program on 2 visits ranging from 6 to 12 months apart. Main Outcome Measure Annual change in weight.


In multiple regression analyses, no significant relations were found between total intake of fat, fiber, fruits, or vegetables and weight change. There was a 0.16-kg lower weight change per year (95% confidence interval [CI], -0.20 to -0.12 kg; P<.01) with each additional daily serving of breads and grains, and a 0.05-kg greater weight change per year (95% CI, 0.1-0.09 kg; P<.05) for each additional serving of fat foods in a model adjusting for sex, age, baseline weight, change in height, and sociodemographic variables.


Intake of North Dakota WIC Program-defined fat foods, but not dietary fat per se, significantly predicted weight gain, whereas intake of North Dakota WIC Program-defined breads and grains, but not fiber per se, significantly predicted weight loss in preschool children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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