Contribution of 'noncore' foods and beverages to the energy intake and weight status of Australian children.Eur J Clin Nutr 2005; 59(5):639-45EJ
The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating is based on five core food groups and water. Foods or beverages that do not fit into these groups are considered extra or 'noncore'. We tested the hypotheses that noncore foods and beverages make a greater proportional contribution to mean daily energy intakes of: (1) children, compared with other age groups; and (2) overweight and obese children, compared with healthy weight children.
DESIGN, SETTING AND SUBJECTS
We used data from 13 858 participants aged 2 to 80+ y who had 24-h dietary recall data collected in the 1995 cross-sectional Australian National Nutrition Survey. ANOVA was used to compare the percentage of energy provided by noncore foods and beverages by age and weight status.
Children (5 to 12 y) and adolescents (13 to 18 y) obtained significantly more (P < 0.001) of their daily food energy from noncore foods (41.5 and 43.4%, respectively) than all other age groups. These age groups also obtained significantly more (P < 0.001) of their daily beverage energy from noncore beverages (30.7 and 36.9%, respectively). Results were not consistent with weight status, although very young (2-4 y) obese children obtained significantly more energy (P < 0.05) from noncore beverages than children in a healthy weight range. Younger children may also have consumed a greater quantity of foods and beverages. Under-reporting may have obscured similar results for older children.
By definition, noncore foods and beverages are surplus to the requirements of a healthy diet. We found that Australian children consume these foods and beverages in excess.