Dietary nutrient intake and major food sources: the Nutrition and Health Survey of Taiwan Elementary School Children 2001-2002.Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2007; 16 Suppl 2:518-33AP
The aim of the study was to investigate nutrient intake and their dietary sources in Taiwanese children ages 6-12 years by analyzing the 24-hour recall data of 2386 participants from a nationally representative sample. Results showed that children in Taiwan were slightly lower in mean proportion of energy intake from carbohydrates (53.5% of energy intake) and higher in those from fats (30.8%) and protein (15.8%) as based on the recommendations of Department of Health in Taiwan. The mean intake of vitamins and of minerals by children was equivalent to or exceeded Daily Reference Intake of Taiwan (DRI) or other recommended standards with the exception of a seriously insufficient calcium intake and extremely high sodium intake. A substantial proportion of children in different age/gender/location strata had lower mean vitamin and mineral intake by DRI and other recommended standards. These nutrient profiles were mainly related to dietary patterns with relatively low intake of fruits, vegetables, cereals/grains, and dairy products, but high intake of the protein-rich foods, salt/sauces, and fats/oils. According to the suboptimal dietary nutrient profiles of Taiwanese children, particularly in the underprivileged areas, recommendations are made in this article for policy makers and health practitioners to consider in order to improve dietary quality of elementary school children.