Ethnic disparities of beverage consumption in infants and children 0-5 years of age; National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011 to 2014.Nutr J. 2018 08 22; 17(1):78.NJ
Dietary patterns, including beverage consumption, that are developed during a child's first few years of life have been shown to impact dietary choices made later in life. Authoritative sources provide beverage recommendations for infants and children; however, it is unclear if these guidelines are followed and what, if any, the differences are among races/ethnicities. The objective of this study was to examine beverage consumption to recommendations among children 0-5 months, 6-11 months, 12-23 months, 2-3 years, and 4-5 years. Additionally, examine how these beverage patterns associate with nutrient intake and to determine if differences exist in beverage consumption among race/ethnic groups (Non-Hispanic White, Non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and Asian) in children aged 0-23 months, 2-3 years, and 4-5 years.
Data from the 2011-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for children 0-5 years were analyzed (n = 2445). Beverages were classified as follows; milk, 100% juice, diet beverages, sugar sweetened beverages (SSB), and water.
Our results show that regardless of race/ethnicity, dietary recommendation were not always followed. Prior to 6 months, 10% of infants consumed any amount of 100% juice; from 6 to 11 months, 17% of young children were drinking any amount of milk. SSB consumption rapidly increased with age, whereas intake of milk and 100% juice declined after 2 to 3 years of age. Non-Hispanic Black young children consumed the most 100% juice from 2 to 3 years and up, exceeding recommended amounts, and throughout all age groups they consumed the least milk and most SSBs. The decreased intake of nutrient-rich beverages with age was associated with lower intakes of under-consumed nutrients of public health concern. By 4-5 years, 32.7% and 93.8% of children were consuming <EAR for calcium and vitamin D, respectively.
Dietary recommendations for both the introduction of beverages and amounts consumed were not consistently followed for American infants and children 0-5 years. Race/ethnic disparities exist in beverage consumption with Non-Hispanic Black children consuming the least amount of milk and most SSBs. Improving beverage consumption patterns could help improve overall diet quality which directly contributes to overall childhood health.