To determine the nutrient intakes of a nationwide sample of form 1 children (aged 10-11 years), and to identify possible areas of nutritional concern.
Ten form 1 classes (322 children) were chosen as a nationally representative but nonrandom sample. A 24-hour dietary record was used to obtain quantitative information on all food and beverages consumed. Mean daily intakes were compared with Australian recommended dietary intakes (RDIs) for ages 8 to 11 years. Mean percentage contributions made by selected macronutrients to total energy intake, were compared to targets set for adult New Zealanders.
The final sample comprised 251 children (114 boys, 137 girls) aged 10 to 11 years. Mean energy intake was 8.32 MJ/d (boys) and 7.97 MJ/d (girls). These intakes were within the Australian recommended range for 10 to 11 year olds. Snacks contributed a mean of 30 percent to the daily energy intake of this sample. The mean percentage of daily energy from total fat was 36% (boys) and 35% (girls), close to the target set for adult New Zealanders. However, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) provided only 4% of mean daily energy compared to the 8% recommended for adults. Sugar intake was considered too high, with total sugars contributing one quarter of daily energy. This group would probably benefit from increased consumption of complex carbohydrate including fibre, and less refined sugar. Nearly half of the girls sampled had a calcium intake less than 70% of the Australian RDI. This result is of concern with respect to maintaining positive calcium balance for achievement of peak bone mass. Mean sodium intake was high at approximately 100 mmol/d, despite no information on salt added during cooking and before eating. Intake of zinc and vitamin B6 was considered to be too low with over one-third of the sample consuming less than 70% of the Australian RDI.