High proportions of children under 3 years of age consume commercially produced snack foods and sugar-sweetened beverages in Bandung City, Indonesia.Matern Child Nutr. 2019 06; 15 Suppl 4:e12764.MC
Child undernutrition continues to be a national concern in Indonesia, whereas childhood overweight/obesity rises. Economic development has led to wide availability of highly processed foods and beverages, with growing evidence that children are consuming commercial snack products during the critical complementary feeding period. This study assessed the prevalence and patterns of consumption of commercially produced snack foods and sugar-sweetened beverages among Indonesian children. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 495 mothers of children aged 6-35 months living in Bandung City, Indonesia. Among all children, 81.6% consumed a commercial snack food and 40.0% consumed a sugar-sweetened beverage in the day preceding the interview. At 6-11 months, 46.5% of children consumed a snack food and 2.0% consumed a sugar-sweetened beverage. Snack foods were consumed 3 or more times a day by 60.0% of children 24-35 months of age. Sweet biscuits and savory snacks were the most commonly consumed snack foods; sweetened milks and sweetened teas were the most common beverages. Maternal education, child age, and consumption of a commercially produced complementary food were associated with snack food consumption. Factors associated with sugar-sweetened beverage consumption were child age and consumption of a commercially produced complementary food or breastmilk substitute. These findings reflect a high presence of processed, high-sugar/salt commercial snack products in the diets of children 6-35 months. National attention should focus on interventions to reduce reliance on processed snack products and increase consumption of nutrient-rich, locally available foods during the complementary feeding period.