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The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
ISSN: 1606-0997
EISSN: 1606-0997
Vol. 35, No. 1, 2016, pp. 1-13
Bioline Code: hn16034
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 35, No. 1, 2016, pp. 1-13

 en Preschool diets in children from Piła, Poland, require urgent intervention as implied by high risk of nutrient inadequacies
Merkiel, Sylwia & Chalcarz, Wojciech


Background: Among the studies published after the year 2000 which focused on nutrition at preschool, only three aimed to assess children’s intake of energy and selected nutrients at preschool. The purpose of this study was to assess dietary intake in children during their stay at preschool.
Methods: The studied population comprised 128 4–6-year-old children who attended preschools in Piła, Poland. Intakes of energy and macronutrients were estimated from a 5-day weighed food record completed by the preschool staff. Weight and height were measured, and BMI was calculated. Statistical analysis was carried out using the IBM SPSS Statistics 21.0 computer programme. The data were analysed according to gender.
Results: Energy intake was the lowest in children with underweight, 2004 kJ (478 kcal), and the highest in obese children, 3388 kJ (809 kcal). Energy intake from lactose was statistically significantly higher in boys than in girls, 3.0 vs 2.6 %. Statistically significantly higher percentage of boys in comparison to girls had intakes of vitamin C below 70 % of EAR, 56.9 vs 38.1 %. It is important to highlight the excessive intake of energy from saturated fatty acids and energy from sucrose, along with inadequate intake of energy from polyunsaturated fatty acids. We also found excessive intake of sodium and inadequate intakes of dietary fibre, water, vitamin D, vitamin E, folate, niacin, calcium and potassium.
Conclusions: Preschool diets need urgent improvement to prevent diet-related diseases in the studied preschoolers in the future. The inadequacies observed in these diets are in accordance with the previously reported inadequacies in menus planned for preschoolers. More research is needed to investigate dietary intake of children during their stay at preschool. Common regulations worked out for all preschools in the European Union would be a good way to provide adequate nutrition to preschool children.

Preschool children; Preschools; Dietary intake; Macronutrients; Vitamins; Minerals; Diet-related diseases

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