A representative sample of French Canadian Montrealers was surveyed to compile data on food habits, nutrient intakes and sociodemographic characteristics, using interviewer-administered questionnaires and 7-day food records (7D-FR).
Complete 7D-FR and sociodemographic data were obtained from 614 adults aged 19 and over (40.1% males), and 182 children aged 5 to 18 (44.8% males). Average heights and weights of children were at the 50th percentile for both sexes and all age groups. Nutrient intakes surpassed most of the age- and sex-specific 1990 Canadian Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs). Energy intakes were 83% to 98% of the RNIs, with 16-18 year old adolescent girls having systematically lower energy consumption. Calcium was most frequently found below the 66% age-sex specific RNI cut-off. On average, protein comprised 16% of energy, fat 36-37%, and carbohydrates 48-49%, for males and females, respectively. Simple sugars comprised 16-19% of energy among boys, and 16-20% among girls, fluctuating with age. Only a small proportion of respondents (15.4%) had low relative total fat and saturated fat intakes (ranging from 30-34%, and 10-12% of energy, respectively); no differences in mean nutrient levels were found between low, medium or higher fat consumers. Among those with inadequate intakes, 26% lived in one lower middle income sector of Montreal; however, no clear pattern emerged linking dietary adequacy and socioeconomic factors.
While Montreal youngsters consume generally adequate diets, sufficient quantities of calcium-furnishing foods must be eaten, particularly by adolescent girls. Surveillance of children's food and nutrient intakes will contribute to the reduction of chronic disease by providing data for effective health care planning.