Poster Topical Area: Nutritional Epidemiology
Location: Hall D
Poster Board Number: 825
Investigating the association between key foods consumed by children in infancy and early childhood and health is important for informing upcoming dietary guidelines, U.S. dietary policy, and public health. Ready-to-eat cereal (RTEC) is a common first food for infants and is commonly consumed by young children. Objective: Here, we characterized the association between RTEC consumption and nutrient intakes in infants (6 to 24 months) and preschool children (2-5 years).
Methods: Using data from three cycles (2009-2010, 2011-2012, and 2013-2014) of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), we classified infants (age 6 months to 24 months; n=1,160) and preschool children (age 2 years to 5 years; n=2,372) as RTEC eaters or non-eaters based on one-day surrogate-completed 24-hour dietary recalls. Study weights were applied based on survey methodology published by NHANES. Differences between RTEC eaters and non-eaters for each age group were evaluated using t-test with p<0.05 considered significant.
Results: 35% (n=345) and 48% (n=1,146) of children 6 to 24 months and 2-5 years, respectively, reported eating RTEC. RTEC eaters 6 to 24 months had higher (compared to non-eaters) total daily energy intake as well as calcium, fiber, magnesium, potassium, protein, zinc, whole grains, vitamin E, and B vitamins but they also had higher sodium and added sugar intake (all p<0.05). RTEC eaters 2-5 years old had the same calorie intake as non-RTEC eaters but higher calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin D, zinc, whole grains and B vitamin intake (all p<0.05). Sodium, added sugar, and saturated fat did not differ. Among RTEC eaters, RTEC contributed 50% of daily whole grain intake for children 6-24 months, and 44% of whole grain intake for children 2-5 years. In additional, RTEC was an important source of iron and B-vitamins. RTEC and milk together provided 33% of vitamin D intake and 18% of daily calcium intake in children 2-5 years who consumed RTEC. Lastly, there was no significant difference in BMI z-score for RTEC eaters and non-eaters for children 2-5 years.
Conclusion: RTEC is a popular source of important nutrients and whole grains for infants and young children. There is no evidence that RTEC intake is associated with a detrimental effect on body weight.
General Mills, Inc.
Golden Valley, Minnesota