Weight loss practices and frequency among children and adolescents can impact overall diet quality. We used cross-sectional U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data (NHANES) 2011–2012 from 1303 children and adolescents (8–15 years) to examine associations between frequency of trying to lose weight (never vs. sometimes/a lot) and sociodemographic characteristics, self-perception of weight, and dietary intake. A greater frequency of trying to lose weight was reported by participants with overweight/obesity, those from households with lower annual income and those who perceived they were overweight or obese compared to their counterparts. A high proportion of participants with overweight and obesity considered themselves to be “about the right weight” (76.7 and 42.8%, respectively). Intake data based on one 24-h dietary recall were examined using multivariable regression models adjusted for child and parent/family characteristics. In adjusted analyses, energy and total fat intakes were lower among those trying to lose weight compared to those never trying to lose weight. Intakes of cholesterol, sodium, and refined grains were not different by frequency of trying to lose weight (all p = 0.059–0.074). Weight loss efforts may be related to better nutritional profiles for some children and adolescents.
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- Food groups
- Weight perception