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Med Clin (Barc). 1997 Jun 14;109(3):88-91.

[Consumption of sweets and snacks by a population of school children in the Autonomous Community of Madrid. The CAENPE Group].

[Article in Spanish]

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Sección de Endocrinología y Nutrición, Hospital Severo Ochoa, Madrid.



In our society advertising compaigns promote consumption of superfluous foods, such as sweets and snacks, displacing the intake of other basic nutrients. The aim of this study is to assess the intake of these foods by children, their relative contribution to overall macronutrient intake and their effects on health.


A dietary assessment was performed on a representative sample of scholar children from the Autonomous Community of Madrid. It reflects food consumption for a 4-days period (3 week-days and 1 weekend day) in 2,698 boys and girls aged 6 to 15 years. The intake is expressed as grams per 1,000 kcal to standardize nutrient consumption in boys and girls. Lipid profile and several markers of nutritional status are also determined.


The consumption of sweets and snacks items per 1,000 kcal is higher in boys than in girls (35.8 +/- 20.0 and 34.2 +/- 19.6 g/1,000 kcal, respectively; p = 0.01) and increases during adolescence (12 and 13 years) in both sexes. Sweets and snacks provide 16.1% of dietary total caloric intake, 7.1% of saturated fatty acids, 10.7% of monounsaturated fatty acids, 10.4% of polyunsaturated fatty acids and 11.3% of cholesterol. Children of ages 6, 7, 8 and 9 years with high calculated LDL-cholesterol levels (> or = 120 mg/dl) consume significative higher amounts of sweet foods than children with low calculated LDL-cholesterol levels (< or = 90 mg/dl).


Children from the Autonomous Community of Madrid, Spain consume excessive sweets, which could be responsible for a higher prevalence of diseases related to this intake, such as caries, obesity and obesity-related associate diseases.

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