RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, NON-P.H.S.
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Food and Nutrient Intake in African American Children and Adolescents Aged 5 to 16 Years in Baltimore City.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to describe food and nutrient intake for low-income, urban African American children and adolescents, to highlight the need for further nutrition intervention programs and appropriate tools to address overweight and obesity.

METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study using interviewer-administered single 24-hour dietary recalls. Participants were low-income African American boys and girls aged 5-16 years or their caregivers in Baltimore City. Frequency of food consumption and dietary intakes were analyzed by gender and age groups.

RESULTS: Eighty-one participants were included for analysis. Mean daily energy intakes exceeded Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) from 10% to 71% across all gender-age groups: 2304 kcal for children aged 5-8 years; 2429 kcal and 2732 kcal for boys and girls aged 9-13 years, respectively; and 3339 kcal and 2846 kcal for boys and girls aged 14-16 years, respectively. The most frequently reported consumed foods were sweetened drinks, chips, candies, and milk across all age groups. The majority of participants (79-100%) did not meet the DRIs for dietary fiber and vitamin E across all gender-age groups. Milk accounted for 14%, 17%, and 21% of energy, fat, and protein intake, respectively, among children 5-8 years of age, while pizza was the top source of energy, fat, and protein (11%, 13%, and 18%, respectively) among 14-to 16-year-old adolescents. Sweetened drinks and sweetened juices were major sources of sugar, contributing 33% for 5-8 year olds, 29% for 9-13 year olds, and 35% for 14-16 year olds.

CONCLUSIONS: Mean daily energy intake exceeded dietary recommendations across all gender-age groups. This study has provided previously unavailable information on diet and highlights foods to be targeted in nutrition intervention programs.

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