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J Am Diet Assoc. 1990 Jun;90(6):823-9.

Dietary patterns and nutrient intakes of toddlers from low-income families in Denver, Colorado.

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Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853.


Over a 2-year period, dietary and socioeconomic data were collected from 793 food records of 90 toddlers, aged 1 to 2 years, who were predominantly U.S. Hispanics living in low-income households in Denver, CO. This study was part of a larger investigation designed to assess the efficacy of vitamin and mineral supplements in young children. The toddlers were randomly assigned to one of five treatment groups: multivitamin; multivitamin and iron; multivitamin, iron, and zinc; multivitamin and zinc; or placebo. Three-day food records that were collected from the toddlers at the beginning of the study, at 3 months, and at 6 months were used to assess the dietary and nutrient intakes. Meal patterns were devised on the basis of the frequency of food consumption and common food combinations. Nutrient values were calculated using a diet analyzer program. Nutrient analysis of the toddlers' diets indicated that iron and magnesium were consumed least frequently, whereas more than adequate amounts of protein (193% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance) and sodium (207% of minimum requirements for healthy persons) were consumed. No significant differences in nutrient intakes were observed among the treatment groups, suggesting that the vitamin and mineral supplements had no effect. A difference in energy intake was observed over time with the 6-month and 3-month intakes significantly higher than the initial intakes. There was also a high consumption of carbonated beverages. Despite the low income levels of the families, these toddlers were consuming adequate amounts of food; however, an educational component aimed at reducing the toddlers' high intakes of protein, sodium, and carbonated drinks may help improve the present feeding practices of the mothers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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