Children and Diet
In a study of 3,148 children and adolescents aged 2 to 18 years in the 48 states, the following results wer found on the ways in which fruits and vegetables are consumed by children:
"Nearly one-quarter of all vegetables consumed by children and adolescents were French fries. Their intakes of all fruits and dark green and/or deep yellow vegetables were very low compared with recommendations. Only one in five children consumed five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day." (Arch Pediatric Adolescent Med)
Researchers studied the diets of 51 children aged 3 and at twelve child-care centers and found that:
- 84 percent of children consumed fewer vegetables than recommended.
- Children often did not eat enough food at the child-care center to obtain even 50 percent of the RDA for energy, niacin, iron and zinc.
- 8 of 51 children had daily dietary intakes that were less than 67 percent of the RDA for iron, zinc and energy." (Journal of the American Dietetic Assn.)
A study was conducted using 116 two-year old children and 107 five-year old children who were scheduled for a non-acute doctor's visit, between 1992 and 1993. The study found that:
"Preschool-aged children consumed, on average, about 80 percent of the recommended fruit servings/day, but only 25 percent of the recommended vegetables servings/day. Low intakes of fruits and vegetables were associated with inadequate intakes of vitamin A, vitamin C, and dietary fiber, in addition to high intakes of total fat and saturated fat." (J Am Coll Nutrition)
Researchers studied 3307 children in the United States ranging in ages from 2 though 19 to determine the number of children meeting national recommendations for food group intake and found that:
Only 1 percent met all the recommendations. (Pediatrics)