[Meal and snack consumption among Chinese children and adolescents in twelve provinces].Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2016 Nov; 45(6):876-905.WS
To study meal and snack consumption and their contribution to daily dietary energy and macronutrients intakes among Chinese children and adolescents.
Children and adolescents aged 4-17 years old(n = 1905) from the 2011 China Health and Nutrition Survey were included by the cluster random sampling method. Three consecutive 24 h recalls and household condiment weighing were used to estimate dietary intakes. Energy and nutrients were calculated based on the most recent China Food Composition Table. Eating occasions were divided into meals(breakfast, lunch and dinner) and snacks(morning snack, afternoon snack and evening snack). Descriptive analysis for four age categories(4-6 y, 7-10 y, 11-13 y and 14-17 y) was conducted to study the frequency, energy and macronutrient contribution, and sources of foods during each eating occasion.
Most children and adolescents consumed regular meals, while the snacks consumption rate was 65%-76%. Meals(excluding cooking oil) provided 71%-76% of total energy, 88%-92% of protein, 50%-53%of total fat, and 83%-89% of carbohydrate daily intake. Homemade foods(including raw foods) provided the majority of foods in meals, while restaurant made foods and processed foods provided 14. 0% to 20. 5% and 14. 5% to 19. 2% of total energy from meals, respectively. Snacks typically provided disproportionally more carbohydrate and less protein for children and adolescents, and had more impact on the diets of younger children than the older ones. In contrast to meals, processed foods were highly consumed as snacks in children and adolescents, providing 40. 6% to 47. 7% of total daily energy.
Nutrition education campaigns should encourage children and adolescents to have regular meals and choose fresh, low-energy, low-salt, and low-fat snacks.