The objective of this review was to identify dietary insufficiencies and excesses in children aged two to 11 in the United States (U.S.) and eating habits that merit concern in terms of nutrient and energy density to improve overall diet quality. Data from the What We Eat in America (WWEIA) tables from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were examined as well as survey data from the School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study (SNDA). Analysis of survey data revealed that children consume insufficient Vitamin D, calcium, and potassium and excess energy, carbohydrates, and sodium. Dietary modifications are necessary to prevent serious deficiencies and the development of chronic illness. Snacking has steadily increased in this population since the 1970s, and snacks provide necessary nutrients. However, carbohydrates and added sugars tend to be overconsumed at snacking occasions. Replacement of current snack choices with nutrient-dense foods could lower the risks of nutrient deficiencies and help lower excess nutrient consumption. Increased consumption of low sugar dairy foods, especially yogurt, at snack times could increase intake of important micronutrients without contributing to dietary excesses.
- NHANES 2009-2010
- National health and nutrition examination survey
- WHAT we eat in America