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Am J Public Health. 1992 Jun;82(6):810-5.

Food sources, dietary behavior, and the saturated fat intake of Latino children.

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Center for Health Promotion, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.



Recent recommendations for Americans aged 2 and older call for a reduction in the average saturated fat intake to less than 10% of calories.


Using 24-hour dietary recalls collected from mothers of 4- to 7-year-old urban Latino children, we identified foods and dietary behavior patterns that distinguish children with higher and lower mean daily percentages of calories from saturated fat.


Compared with children in the lowest quintile of intake, children in the highest quintile consumed more than twice as much saturated fat per day from high-fat milk products (18.5 g vs 7.8 g), mostly from whole milk. They did not consume different kinds of milk or different amounts of milk per eating occasion, but on average they consumed milk more frequently (2.8 vs 1.6 eating occasions per day). Even children in the lowest quintile, on average, exceeded the 10% of calories from saturated fat currently recommended. If low-fat (1% fat) milk had been substituted without other dietary changes, all but the highest two quintiles would have been within the recommended level.


The substitution of low-fat for whole milk appears to be a key strategy for preschool children for achieving recommended levels of saturated fat intake.

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