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Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 1979 Aug;7(4):199-205.

Dietary pattern of Finnish children with low high caries experience.


The correlations between dietary patterns and caries were studied in a series consisting of 534, 5-, 9- and 13-year-old Finnish rural children from low-fluoride areas (0.10-0.46 parts/10(6)). The food consumption of the children was assessed by the 24-hour recall method. The consumption of sweets was estimated by the dietary history method. Caries was diagnosed by clinical inspection. Children with a low and children with a high caries experience were compared with regard to food and nutrient intakes per 1000 kcal. The intakes of most foods and nutrients were similar in the low-caries and in the high-caries groups. However, the diet of the high-caries groups of 5- and 13-year-olds contained less iron, thiamine and ascorbic acid than the diet of the low-caries groups. The intake of sugar and sugar-containing products per unit of energy was higher in the high-caries groups. This was true for soft drinks in particular. Among the 9-year-olds the proportion of sugar consumed as such was greater in the high-caries than in the low-caries children. With regard to the total monthly consumption of sweets no significant differences were observed between the high- and low-caries groups. Analysis of the energy-standardized consumption of food and nutrients thus showed that the relative proportion of sugar and sugar-containing products was somewhat greater in the diet of the high-caries children than in the diet of the low-caries children, but not as high as could be expected. These products replaced foods with a higher nutritive value with the result that the diet of the high-caries groups was on the whole more refined than the diet of the low-caries groups.

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