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Estimates of food and macronutrient intake in a random sample of Northern Ireland adolescents

  • J. J. Strain (a1), P. J. Robson (a1), M. B. E. Livingstone (a1), E. D. Primrose (a2), J. M. Savage (a2), G. W. Cran (a3) and C. A. G. Boreham (a4)...

Abstract

Estimates of food consumption and macronutrient intake were obtained from a randomly selected population sample (2%) of 1015 adolescents aged 12 and 15 years in Northern Ireland during the 1990/1991 school year. Dietary intake was assessed by diet history with photographic album to estimate portion size. Reported median energy intakes were 11.0 and 13.1 MJ/d for boys aged 12 and 15 years respectively and 9.2 and 9.1 MJ/d for girls of these ages. Protein, carbohydrate and total sugars intakes as a percentage of total energy varied little between the age and sex groups and were approximately 11, 49 and 20 % respectively of daily total energy intakes. Median dietary fibre intakes were approximately 20 and 24 g/d for boys aged 12 and 15 years respectively and 18 and 19 g/d for girls of these ages. Major food sources of energy (as a percentage of total energy intakes) were bread and cereals (15–18 %), cakes and biscuits (12–14%), chips and crisps (13–14%), dairy products (9-ll%), meat and meat products (9–11%) and confectionery (9%). Fruit and vegetable intakes were low at about 2.5% and 1.5% respectively of total energy intakes. Median fat intakes were high at 39% of total daily energy intakes. Major food sources of fat as a percentage of total fat intakes were from the food groupings: chips and crisps (16–19%), meat and meat products (14–17%), fats and oils (14–16%), cakes and biscuits (13–16%) and dairy products (12–15%). Median intakes of saturated fatty acids were also high at approximately 15% of daily total energy intake while intakes of monounsaturated fatty acids averaged 12% of daily total energy intake. Median polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intakes were low, comprising 5.2 and 5.5 % of daily total energy intake for boys aged 12 and 15 years respectively and were lower than the PUFA intakes (59 and 6.3% of daily total energy intake) for girls of these ages. About 1.3 % for boys and 1.4 % for girls of daily total energy intake was in the form of n-3 PUFA. Ca and Mg intakes were adequate for both sexes. Based on these results, some concern about the dietary habits and related health consequences in Northern Ireland adolescents appears justified.

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References

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