Objectives: The purpose of this paper is to present longitudinal data on nutrient intakes of youth with emphases on differences by sex and race/ethnicity. Nutrients selected for examination are those implicated in chronic disease. Design: 24-hour dietary recalls were collected from a cohort of third, fifth and eighth graders (n = 1874). Setting and subjects: The sample is drawn from the Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health and includes students from California, Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas. Results: Across the total sample, nutrient intakes met recommended levels except that total fat, saturated fat and sodium consistently exceeded recommendations and calcium and iron intake of girls consistently fell short of recommended levels. Nutrient consumption between third and eighth grade differed by sex and race/ethnicity for a number of nutrients. In particular, females' intake of energy from total fat, calcium, iron, folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin D decreased over time relative to males' intakes, controlling for overall energy intake. Compared with the other ethnic/racial groups, African-American students increased their intake of energy from total fat and saturated fat over time. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the diets of youth change over time, and negative trends are more common in females than in males and in African-American and Hispanics compared with Caucasian students. Nutrition education and intervention are needed throughout childhood and adolescence with an emphasis on choosing healthful foods. In addition, greater attention to differential opportunities and reinforcements for females and males, and Caucasian, Hispanic and African-American students is warranted.
- Dietary recommendations
- Longitudinal study