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Pediatr Dent. 2006 Mar-Apr;28(2):164-71; discussion 192-8.

Diet quality, added sugar, and dietary fiber intakes in American preschoolers.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, USA.



The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to examine the relationship between meeting the intake recommendations for added sugar (AS) and dietary fiber and overall diet quality in American preschoolers from different ethnic backgrounds.


Data from a nationally representative sample of preschoolers participating in the Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals (CSFII) 1994-1996, and 1998 (n=5,437) were categorized into 3 groups: (1) meeting the recommendation for AS intake (< or = 10% of energy) and dietary fiber (14 g and 20 g in 2- to 3-year-olds and 4- to 5-year-olds, respectively; n=236); (2) meeting only 1 recommendation (n=1,502); and (3) meeting neither (n=3,699). Dietary AS and dietary fiber sources were ascertained. Mean energy intake, nutrient intake, and food group density were established within each category, and student's t test was employed to determine significant differences. Nutrient and food group density was also examined stratified by 4 distinct ethnic groups.


Children meeting both recommendations had better diet quality but also higher energy intakes than children meeting only 1 or neither recommendation.


Most American preschoolers do not meet the dietary intake recommendations for AS and dietary fiber. Health professionals should work together to increase dietary fiber density and reduction of added sugar in the diets of preschoolers to improve diet quality and oral health.

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