Dietary patterns in toddlers with excess weight. The 2016 pitnuts study.Dev Period Med 2017; 21(3):272-285DP
Children's appropriate dietary pattern determines their optimal development, reduces the risk of childhood diseases and the risk of diet-dependent diseases, including obesity in adulthood.
To analyze the dietary patterns of children with excess weight aged 1-3 years in comparison with the main components of the safe nutrition model including: the organization of meals (frequency of meals), selection of products (food intake), energy and nutritional value of children's diets.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
The study was carried out in 2016 on a representative nationwide sample of children aged 5-36 months (n=1059). The analysis of dietary patterns covered 173 with excess weight children aged 13-36 months (BMI-z-score >1 SD). Their nutritional status was evaluated based on BMI and its standardisation according to the WHO reference child growth standards for children aged 0-5 years (BMI z-score). The diets of children were assessed using 3-day dietary records. The dietary patterns of the children who were analysed were determined using the cluster analysis (k-means method), including 11 variables concerning average daily intake of main food group products (cow's milk, junior formula, milk products, bread, groats and rice, cereals, cured meats, fats, sugar and sweets, fruits, nectars and juices).
Three clusters of overweight and obese children with different dietary patterns were identified. The diet of children from the first cluster (n=58) was based primarily on junior formula and foods for infants and toddlers. This dietary pattern was defined as the "baby food diet". The second cluster comprised 33 children whose diets were characterised by high consumption of cow's milk and dairy products, as well as cereal products, including bread, groats, rice and breakfast cereals. This dietary pattern was defined the "milk and cereals diet". The third cluster consisted of 82 children whose dietary pattern was characterised by high consumption of bread, cold meats and fats, sweets, juices and fruits (the "sandwich and sugar diet"). In all the clusters the average intake of vegetables and fruit by children with excess weight was significantly lower than the recommended amounts. The study showed too high intake of energy, protein, sodium, B vitamins and saccharose and an insufficient supply of calcium, fibre, vitamin D, vitamin E, LCPUFA, iodine and potassium in the children's diet in reference to nutritional recommendations. Younger children with the "baby food diet" pattern, due to the contribution of enriched food, had a more balanced diet in relation to the model of safe nutrition (nutritional norms). Older children's diets - in the third year of life, were characterized by a diversified choice of products that are a source of protein and carbohydrates (milk, breakfast cereals, meat, bread, cold meats, sugar from beverages, dairy desserts and juices).
The identified dietary patterns of toddlers with excess weight differ from the safe nutrition model in terms of product selection and nutrient profile.