Dietary Intake by Food Source and Eating Location in Low- and Middle-Income Chilean Preschool Children and Adolescents from Southeast Santiago.Nutrients. 2019 Jul 23; 11(7)N
Food source and eating location are important factors associated with the quality of dietary intake. In Chile the main food sources and eating locations of preschool children and adolescents and how these relate to dietary quality are unknown.
We analyzed 24 h dietary recalls collected in 2016 from low- and middle-income Chilean preschool children (3-6 years, n = 839) and adolescents (12-14 years, n = 643) from southeastern Santiago. Surveys collected the food source and eating location for each food reported during the recall. We estimated the mean intake of calories and key nutrients of concern, such as saturated fats, total sugars, and sodium, by food source and eating location.
Foods obtained and eaten at home contributed the greatest proportion of total calories and the key nutrients of concern. Foods obtained at home tended to have lower caloric densities but higher sugar and sodium densities than foods obtained away from home in both age groups. With regard to location, for preschool children foods consumed at home had lower caloric and sugar densities than foods eaten at school, while for adolescents foods consumed at home had lower caloric, saturated fat, and sugar densities than foods eaten at school. For both children and adolescents, home was the primary source of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) calories. SSBs were important calorie contributors among foods across all settings, but the highest absolute amount of calories from these beverages was consumed at home.
While most of Chilean youths' calories and key nutrients of concern are obtained and consumed at home, these foods tended to have lower caloric densities than foods obtained and consumed away from home. Home was the main food source for SSBs, but the relative consumption of these beverages was high in all eating locations. More research will be needed to inform and evaluate policies and interventions to improve children's dietary quality across settings.