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Sugar and fat intake among children in Scotland: what is needed to reach the dietary targets?

  • Geraldine McNeill (a1) (a2), Lindsey F Masson (a1), Leone CA Craig (a1) (a2), Jennie I Macdiarmid (a2), Bridget A Holmes (a3), Michael Nelson (a3) and Christine Sheehy (a4)...

Abstract

Objective

To assess the intake and sources of non-milk extrinsic sugars (NMES) and fat among children in Scotland in relation to socio-economic status, and to estimate the changes in diet required to achieve recommended levels of intake.

Design

Cross-sectional survey with diet assessed by semi-quantitative FFQ.

Setting

Eighty postcode sectors across Scotland.

Subjects

Children (n 1398) aged 3–17 years recruited from the Child Benefit register (76 % of those contacted).

Results

The mean intake of NMES of 17·4 (95 % CI 17·0, 17·8) % food energy was considerably higher than the UK recommended population average of 11 % food energy. The mean intake of total fat of 32·9 (95 % CI 32·7, 33·2) % food energy met the recommended population average of no more than 35 % food energy, while the mean intake of SFA of 13·8 (95 % CI 13·7, 14·0) % food energy was above the recommended population average of no more than 11 % food energy. Despite clear socio-economic gradients in the mean daily consumption of many ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ food groups, socio-economic differences in NMES as a percentage of food energy were limited and there was no significant variation in the intake of total fat or SFA as a percentage of food energy with socio-economic status. Modelling of the data showed that removing sugar-sweetened soft drinks and increasing fruit and vegetable intake by 50 % would not restore the intake of NMES and SFA to recommended levels.

Conclusions

Major changes in the intake of many food groups will be required to bring the NMES and saturated fat intake in line with current dietary recommendations.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email g.mcneill@abdn.ac.uk

References

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Keywords

Sugar and fat intake among children in Scotland: what is needed to reach the dietary targets?

  • Geraldine McNeill (a1) (a2), Lindsey F Masson (a1), Leone CA Craig (a1) (a2), Jennie I Macdiarmid (a2), Bridget A Holmes (a3), Michael Nelson (a3) and Christine Sheehy (a4)...

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