Nutrient intakes of Tongan and Tokelauan children living in New Zealand.N Z Med J 1996; 109(1034):435-8NZ
To assess the adequacy of nutrient intakes of 10- to 13-year-old Tongan and Tokelauan children living in New Zealand and to compare these data with data from nonPacific Islands children of the same age.
A 24-hour diet record was used to assess the nutrient intakes of Tongan and Tokelauan school children (n = 162), aged 10- to 13-years, living in Auckland and Wellington. Nutrient intakes using the same methodology were compared with those from a nationally representative sample of nonPacific Islands, Form 1 children and also with Australian recommended dietary intakes for children aged 12- to 15-years.
Data were collected from 162 (68 boys and 94 girls) of 220 children eligible to participate in the study (74%). Mean energy intakes for both the Tongan (8855 kJ for boys, 8610 kJ for girls) and the Tokelauan (9872 kJ for boys, 8826 kJ for girls) children were above the range of intake recommended by the World Health Organisation. The combined average energy intake of the two groups was higher than that of nonPacific Islands children for both boys and girls although not statistically significantly. Total fat intake was significantly higher (p < 0.05) for Tongan and Tokelauan boys, protein intake significantly higher for Tongan and Tokelauan boys (p < 0.01) and girls (p < 0.01), and carbohydrate intake significantly lower (p < 0.01) for Tongan and Tokelauan girls than for nonPacific Islands children. Compared with nonPacific Islands children micronutrient intakes were generally lower for Tongan and Tokelauan children with intakes of calcium, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, folate and vitamin A being significantly lower for both sexes. Vitamin C was also significantly lower for girls (p < 0.05). Tongan and Tokelauan children obtain most of their nutrients from meat, bakery products, fast foods and dairy products. Fruit and vegetables were not significant contributors to nutrient intakes.
Tongan and Tokelauan children living in New Zealand consume a diet that is larger in amount but lower in nutrient density compared to that of nonPacific Islands New Zealand children. Their relatively high dietary energy intakes allow them to meet the recommended intake requirements for most nutrients although if current intakes of fat and energy are maintained this may put them at risk of heart disease and other diseases later in life.